I'm on a mission to find the best hardware store & lumber yard in NYC. I've found a few guides on the subject - one from Time Out, one from the Daily News - and I'm gonna try to hit a few of them up later this winter. If you have recommendations - or want to come with! - let me know :)
Planning & Strategy.
- I read Private Empire this weekend, Steve Coll's biography of Exxon Mobil under Lee Raymond & Rex Tillerson. Tillerson, of course, was nominated for Secretary of State last week, and I recommend reading Coll's piece in the New Yorker about him - as well as this Washington Post editorial. I find the oil industry troubling in many ways, but I've gotta say: Tillerson seems pragmatic, totally un-crazy, and in some ways (relatively speaking) downright progressive.
- A good post mortem on Quirky, which points to Quirky's failure to generate truly innovative products and the ways in which their approach led to internal distraction, community disenchantment, and low quality control. This jives with my own analysis, from last year.
- A good post mortem of Pebble: Basically, don't count on early adopters to make you profitable.
- Google X's self driving car unit is now Waymo.
Making & Manufacturing.
- "Chinese blacksmiths use huge five-story hammer to forge a flange on the street."
- Questions for the Second Ave Subway, moving forward. Want to ride the new section with me when it opens on New Years? Holler.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- An old profile of a mobile sharpening service in Brooklyn.
- AVR microprocessors can be powered with *tiny* amounts of power. And as it turns out, LEDs can generate *tiny* amounts of power if you just put them in the sun or shine a flashlight on them.
Distribution & Logistics.
- Some great gifs of shipping terminals and manufacturing centers, mostly in China, from Google Earth.
- An explosion at an Airgas facility has led to a nitrous oxide shortage. Reddi-Wip supplies are affected.
- The phrase "balls to the wall" probably originated amongst pilots, and refers to the balls on centrifugal governors (which are rad) flying up as the plane's engine sped up.
Inspection & Testing.
- Combine graphene with silly putty, get a *really* precise strain gauge.
- California governor Jerry Brown says that if Trump shuts down NASA's earth science programs, California will "launch its own damn satellite."
- The gravity wave data from the LIGO experiments might end up causing problems for general relativity.
- Boutique lego kits.
- A lot of very geeky topology sculptures.
- I read Trillions last weekend, which contains a lot of interesting ideas about the nature of the web and communication.