I finished The Passage of Power (the fourth of Robert Caro's LBJ books) last week. It - the whole series - is incredible, and the audio versions are well produced and totally addictive.
Planning & Strategy.
- The USGS map locator & downloader. I grew up with USGS topo maps, and still love them.
- Kickstarter's tech predictions for 2017.
- Pebble was acquired by Fitbit and is essentially shutting down; backers who haven't received their awards yet will be refunded.
Making & Manufacturing.
- An excellent multi-part tour of the CF Martin guitar factory. Strongly recommended.
- An excellent Instagram account of a forging shop making big parts.
- An analysis of the supply chain of Donald Trump's necktie manufacturing operation.
- Ames Lab & ORNL are working on industrializing metal powder production, and its effect on metal AM.
- A pretty rad jumping robot.
- Foxconn is apparently looking into a US operation, possibly in collaboration with SoftBank. Note that the other thing Foxconn has been working on is replacing humans (which even in China are getting expensive) with robots.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- A very good video of the machinists who keep the New York Times' printing operation running.
- On the revitalization of Eero Saarinen's TWA terminal. Related, the Wikipedia page for the Lockheed Constellation.
Distribution & Logistics.
- I blasted through (Nike cofounder) Phil Knight's memoir during a day of driving this week; his descriptions of international trade are interesting and incredibly straightforward.
- Underground and above NYC with an (apparently famous) urban explorer.
- FedEx's chairman is, understandably, *not* a fan of the trade wars that Trump has threatened.
- Comma.ai is moving open source; they apparently want to be the Android of self driving car OSs. George Hotz seems... a bit dismissive, to say the least.
- Paris, responding to air pollution, cut half of its cars from the road multiple days in a row. Meanwhile, Boston is going to start rolling out dynamic pricing for streetside parking.
Inspection & Testing.
- The US Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory "will identify a maximum of five wood samples per household or business per calendar year as a free public service to U.S. citizens." Pretty rad.
- SpaceX made a *very* small update to their analysis of the "September 1 anomaly" in which a Falcon 9 exploded on the launch pad. TLDR: They're still working on it, and the next launch will be in January.
- Airplane fornication.
- A dinosaur tail was found in Myanmar, with feathers intact.
- A biopic of George Boole. Not the best movie I've ever seen, but worth having on in the background while you work on extracurricular stuff.
- Everything we currently know about tubes (on Clickhole).