A NYTimes piece from a few years ago detailing how Goldman Sachs (among others) owns huge amounts of commodity metals, and use shady warehousing practices to artificially jack up prices. "By controlling warehouses, pipelines and ports, banks gain valuable market intelligence, investment analysts say. That, in turn, can give them an edge when trading commodities. In the stock market, such an arrangement might be seen as a conflict of interest — or even insider trading. But in the commodities market, it is perfectly legal."
Making & Manufacturing.
Desktop Metal revealed two metal printing systems. The first uses an FDM-like process, and the second uses a powder + binder & release agent jetting process; both use a post-print sintering step. The first system sounds competitive with MIM at 98% density and near-net-shape properties; I'm curious about the second system's characteristics.
Skyler Tibbets' MIT Self-Assembly lab developed a 3D manufacturing technique involving a gel suspension medium and an injected liquid printing medium. Pretty clever.
A very thorough blog post on the Chinese bike sharing scene, including pricing, logistics, and teardowns of the lock hardware from the biggest competitors. Related, the CEO of Ofo says that Chinese bike sharing is a bubble, but that the $650MM they've raised will keep them safe.
Tesla says they'll double their supercharger network in the next year, to a total of 10k stations. By comparison, there are something like 168k gas stations in the US.
Elon Musk's Boring Company has a website, with a video of what he's thinking about. See also this twitter thread (which I think draws false equivalences, but is worth considering) unfavorably comparing Musk to Robert Moses.
A short piece on "wireandcabletips.com" about manufacturing & performance tradeoffs of different types of EMI shielding on data cables.
Shanghai's Yangshan port, the busiest container terminal in the world, is experiencing high congestion due to (!) fog and recent shakeups in the shipping industry.
Probably the most submitted article I've received, ever: Bolt's excellent teardown of Juicero. The engineering here is totally crazy - way out of proportion. I also recommend Star's point here: This is *not*, in any meaningful way, Apple-grade.
The city of Chicago is in the process of switching out their high pressure sodium street lamps (cobraheads!) for LEDs - a change that'll have a big impact on the quality of its street life. A good piece on the effect of light pollution, with a particularly interesting anecdote: "Low-pressure sodium lights are monochromatic and don’t render colors, so their use is uncommon. Hilo, Hawaii, and Flagstaff, Arizona, both near major observatories, make heavy use of low-pressure sodium lights because the fact that they’re monochromatic allows astronomers to filter the light, and because it creates less sky glow."