2018-08-10 3 min read


Planning & Strategy.

Making & Manufacturing.

Maintenance, Repair & Operations.

Distribution & Logistics.

  • Walmart's plan to pay store employees to deliver packages on their way home has been terminated. As I said a little over a year ago: "[The article] points out that 'about 90 percent of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a Wal-Mart,' which is crazy, but I wonder if this particular spin on the traveling salesman problem doesn't introduce unique complications. Also, I live within 10 miles of two or three Wal-Marts, but those are all 40+ minute drives...In other words, distance might not mean as much as you might think."
  • Drew on the future of autonomous cars: "I spent a few days last week in a series of thinly-populated Scottish islands that collectively boasted one ATM, three taxis, and almost no cellular service. In a hypothetical future scenario where self-driving cars have achieved a level of global adoption on par with credit cards or mobile phones, what would be happening in these remote places? Would there be five or six cars that busily moved everyone around each island, or would the low costs of operating the vehicles result in a more exuberant "loitering car cloud" that ensured nobody had to wait more than a few minutes for a ride? Well, the islands don't have ATMs or cell reception today, so there's little reason to assume they'd have any self-driving cars in such a scenario, even if most other places did. We often imagine that driverless cars will turn mobility into a hardware-dependent service with minimal marginal costs that is ubiquitously available, but mobility could also just become another version of cellular service, usually good enough everywhere but plagued by small geographic pockets of unavailability, even in large cities ('let me meet you down the block, I'm not getting any mobility right here')."

Inspection, Testing & Analysis.


  • On the myriad difficulties in running porn sites. Customers of porn sites frequently lie to their banks and say their credit card charges are fraudulent. So banks simply refuse to process charges made to porn sites in the first place, forcing porn sites to outsource their billing to shady third parties, which makes customer service really hard and just comes across as scammy. "If anyone wants to make a killing, seriously, build a proper billing system for this industry."

An excellent analysis of how megacities across the world are growing vs. how active their airports are.

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