Planning & Strategy.
- The company behind C.H.I.P., a linux based computer that crowdfunded for $9, appears to be insolvent.
- Lessons from the former head of data at Pebble: "The top-down approach to centralizing data — the data science VP working with the marketing VP and the sales VP and the operations VP and the CEO — is too gargantuan. But doing it piecemeal — having one motivated data-worker find a collaborator in another department and moving forward on centralizing whatever little bit of data they can — might be successful."
- "In game theory, a focal point (also called Schelling point) is a solution that people will tend to use in the absence of communication, because it seems natural, special, or relevant to them."
Making & Manufacturing.
- A visit to a foam factory.
- A very thorough step-by-step description of how PCBs are made.
- "Solid state deposition for cosmetic enhancement of anodized friction stir processed parts." In other words: Friction stir weld two parts together, which creating something that looks like it's been welded, then cold spray additional material on the joint so that it's smoothed over.
- On the whole industry behind modern mega-concert stage construction & production.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- One big risk to bus systems going fully electric is that the batteries will eventually need to be serviced, and cities are often unprepared to take on that kind of work. At 16,359 buses, Shenzhen has the largest electric fleet in the world; they were able to mitigate the risk of battery failure by negotiating with bus suppliers to provide lifetime warranties on the batteries.
Distribution & Logistics.
- Two bulk freighters loaded with sorghum and headed from the US to China changed direction mid-voyage when new Chinese tariffs were announced.
- A very good multi-part appreciation for the Shinkansen, Japan's bullet train. I recommend clicking through and reading/watching all of these; each point is interesting in its own way.
- "Since bullet trains reduce cross-city commute times, they reduce the cost of face-to-face interactions between skilled workers who work in different cities. Using a data base listing research paper publication and citations, we document a complementarity effect between knowledge production and the transportation network. Co-authors’ productivity rises and more new co-author pairs emerge when secondary cities are connected by bullet train to China’s major cities."
- A peristaltic pump creates flow through a tube by pinching it and pushing, typically using rollers mounted on a rotor.
Inspection, Testing & Analysis.
- A biocompatible bone glue made of calcium and amino acids is being tested by NASA on the ISS; it would eventually be used for patients with osteoporosis.
- A four-block extension of a bike lane through downtown Seattle cost the equivalent of $13 MM per mile.
- Nicola Twilley on fatbergs.
- The GAO's watchdog report on Department of Defense weapons programs - a good, quick, 6 minute overview of how our military is doing at buying stuff.
- Max Temkin's personal FAQ.
- Tokyo's housing prices are at their highest point since 1990.
- I won't be able to make it, but CrowdSupply's Teardown: Portland event looks like fun.
Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared.Credit also to Dan, Star, David, and Reilly for sending links.
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