Good 10 days off. Glad to be back.
- What I'm working on in the next few weeks.
- Al Dean on the push towards desktop manufacturing. My tendency is to be suspicious of anything aimed at the desktop market, but I love when my suspicions are unfounded :)
- Brendan Baker on what really matters.
- Lego says that it won't be able to meet expected demand for this holiday season. Also, Lego sales are up 18% (!) in the first half of 2015, making them bigger by revenue than both Mattel and Hasbro.
- From Jordan, a good video showing both the incredible capabilities of wire EDM and some good reminders about the importance of smart tolerancing. Watch this one first, and then see:
- A *really* good page explaining the complex and extraordinarily precise mirrors on the James Webb Space Telescope, which is due to launch in 2018. I recommend reading the whole thing and watching all of the (charming) videos too. Also note that two of the primary contractors on the project are Ball Aerospace (the same company that used to make Mason jars) and ITT (which was spun off of Eastman Kodak).
- While on our honeymoon, Ada and I read John McPhee's Looking for a Ship - and really enjoyed it. It's charming, interesting, and informative, and is both on-brand for me and approved by my lovely wife :)
- Rio Tinto, the mining goliath, is using fully remote-controlled vehicles in a few of its mines in Australia. These are *big* autonomous vehicles.
- A good blog post on what it's like to ride out a hurricane on a big ship.
- San Francisco may pass a law that will let bikes treat stop signs as yields.
- Shyp made a big update to their (really great) shipping app, allowing users to send mail to other *users* - as opposed to their addresses.
- A New Yorker piece on the Chinese-American financial system, which doesn't really fit into the rest of the US economy well, and a Chinese bank in NYC that was recently investigated (perhaps inappropriately) for fraud.
- Somewhat related, a NYTimes profile of Shrimp Boy, a (former?) Chinese American gangster who was recently arrested for a whole slew of things and is being defended by Richard Serra's estranged brother.
- While most of the metric system can be derived mathematically, mass is still defined relative to an actual physical thing - "IPK," a cylinder of platinum stored in a basement outside of Paris. Well, a few teams are getting close to making IPK obsolete.
Stuff that doesn't fit into my dumb/arbitrary categories.
- An excerpt from Clay Shirky's new book about China. I just started listening to the full book on audio, and I'm excited for it.
- Ben Thompson on the New York Times' piece on Amazon. <- Smart.
- A good and very heartfelt profile of Terry Gross. I don't listen to Fresh Air regularly these days, but there were many years where I didn't miss an episode. She really is a treasure.