I want to mention quickly that while I do believe that NYC is the best city in the world and I'm very happy giving it a disproportionate amount of coverage (kidding?), I'm always interested in hearing about good projects in your town or city as well. There happen to be a few good ones here this week, but as always feel free to send whatever you think is worth reading!
Wayfinding & Strategy.
- 77% of L train riders want the full, 18 month shutdown.
- Indie.vc is now a standalone fund.
- The Bell Labs campus is being converted into a "New Urbanist hub," complete with startups and all. The plan was partly financed by selling the front yard to Toll Brothers, but the photos in the article make it look like it's at least worth a field trip to Holmdel.
Making & Manufacturing.
- A public Slack instance for hardware startup people.
- NASA inflated the Bigelow BEAM, the inflatable space module now attached to the ISS. Now it'll basically sit there for two years.
- Larry Summers on the (over budget, behind schedule) reconstruction of the Anderson Bridge in Boston. I think he draws some of the wrong conclusions (I'm inclined to just say "renovations are just hard" to a lot of it) but the details are interesting nonetheless.
- A pretty awesome video tour of the BMW i3 factory. I particularly liked the transmission assembly, but in general the amount of work it must take to design a manufacturing operation like this is just *so* impressive.
- Voxel8 shipped their first printer - to Google ATAP. Note: the comparison to Optomec's AerosolJet process is tenuous.
Distribution & Logistics.
- A blog post on the proposed Montreal airport rail connection, and how airport rail rarely comes close to the ridership-per-dollar that metro rail does.
- NYC's subway system is the most used transit system in the US by *insane* margins. In the past ten years, it's added almost a billion trips per year - while the rest of the country combined has dropped by about 200 million per year.
- Walmart is testing drones to manage inventory in their warehouses. It's crazy to think that it takes a month to manually check all of their inventory, though I suppose the upside is that you could basically take a stochastic approach and be constantly checking *something.*
Inspection & Testing.
- The Airbus A320new was approved by the FAA and EASA, and will start shipping "in the middle of 2016."
- Donald Trump may have unlawfully used the Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) in Trump Tower. I want to specifically encourage you to think of this as *way* more than a Trump thing, though: POPS are super interesting. For context, first see this article. Then take a second to read the Wikipedia page for the Seagram Building, and contemplate the effect that its big, beautiful plaza had on NYC (and US) twentieth century architecture. Also, tangentially related: I find the architectural details (the bronze beams + the window blinds) on the Seagram building totally insufferable, but that plaza really is nice. See also: the Advocates for Privately Owned Public Spaces' "Find a POPS" page.
- NYC's bike lanes actually sped up traffic.
- Scott Miller on gross margin in hardware businesses.
Stuff that doesn't fit into my dumb/arbitrary categories.
- Hydraulic press vs. Silly String.
- The US track cycling team is training with AR glasses made by Solos.