Happy holidays, all!
Planning & Strategy.
- An open source repository of resources for naming.
- Apple has been systematically throttling processor speeds on older (as in "at least one generation old") iPhones, presumably (ostensibly?) to reduce peak current draw and hence extend the lifetime of their battery packs.
- Finisar, the VCELS manufacturer that Apple's been using for depth sensing on the iPhone 8 and X, received a $390MM "award" from Apple's Advanced Manufacturing Fund. Interestingly, the transaction involved neither equity nor debt, and instead "represents anticipated future business between the companies over a period of time." This article refers to it as "basically an order for iPhone parts going forward," though on the spectrum between a letter of intent and a gift I'm not 100% sure where this lies.
- Toyota and Panasonic announced a partnership to study the feasibility of prismatic (aka pouch packs) & solid state batteries for EVs; Suzuki says it may purchase parts from the partnership. Conspicuously *not* part of the deal is Tesla, which is partnered with Panasonic to produce conventional 18650 cells, which are similar in size to AA.
Making & Manufacturing.
- Taylor is building an ultrasonic welder for textiles and looking for tips. Got experience? Holler at him here.
- A charming old British video of candles being made in the 60s.
- A somewhat snarky but ultimately welcome article on what it's like to visit a high performing (i.e. *not* Tesla owned) auto factory. The counterpoint here, of course, is that Tesla is just *so* much better at marketing their manufacturing operations, but how much customer value does that actually create?
- @daichihira continues to be one of my favorite accounts to follow on instagram; here's a great recent post showing a big facing operation on their gantry mill.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- The incoming president of New York Transit, Andy Byford, says he's open to both shutting down lines for extended repairs and eliminating 24 hour service to enable more regular maintenance. Somewhat related, Cuomo's MTA Genius Challenge posted its list of finalists; note that among the entries is Bombardier, which has been disqualified from bidding on upcoming MTA contracts for what seem like pretty good reasons. And somewhat less related, the MTA is officially looking for a contractor to build platform barriers.
Distribution & Logistics.
- Me, on that feeling when your attentions shift away from engineering problems and towards logistical ones.
- The Boeing 737NG is getting a self propelled nose wheel, capable of backing the plane away from the gate and hence eliminating the need for a separate ground tug vehicle.
- "Braess's paradox is a proposed explanation for the situation where an alteration to a road network to improve traffic flow actually has the reverse effect and impedes traffic through it."
- "Struggling to pay its debt to Chinese firms, the nation of Sri Lanka formally handed over the strategic port of Hambantota to China on a 99-year lease last week, in a deal that government critics have said threatens the country’s sovereignty."
- EDI: Like API, but older and more cumbersome.
Inspection & Testing.
- A concise analysis of the economics of the Tesla semi truck. This video ends up essentially deciding that it'll work out *okay*, but that it will not be a game changer without improvements to battery density in the future. Related, an update on the status of sodium battery research.
- A good rundown of what Instrumental is doing to catch manufacturing defects with image processing.
- South Korea's semiconductor exports are up 56% this year through November, resulting in big profits but almost negligible job growth.
- Fictiv's 2018 State of Hardware survey. With prizes!
- A good list of unpopular (but often compelling) ideas in politics and economics.
Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared.Credit also to Russell, Robin, Jordan, Dan, Dan, and Matt for sending links.
p.s. - We should be better friends. Send me a note - coffee's on me :)
p.p.s - Whenever possible, we work to encourage inclusivity. Here's how.