Planning & Strategy.
- As I hinted last week (facepalm) I want to make a Longbet on the prospects on AR/VR in engineering, manufacturing, and operations; I want the sell position. If someone out there wants to take the buy position (i.e. you want to bet that augmented and virtual reality will find widespread and/or high value applications in industry), shoot me a note and make a case :)
- A well argued, contrarian position: Strong opinions, loosely held might be the worst idea in tech. "Even if someone does have the courage to push back, in practice the original speaker isn’t likely to be holding their opinion as loosely as they think. Having stated their case, they are anchored to it and will look for evidence that confirms it and reject anything contradictory. It is a natural tendency to want to win the argument and be the smartest person in the room." Note, Glowforge is a sponsor of The Prepared.
- Kickstarter's CEO will not voluntarily recognize its nascent employee union, saying that he prefers a National Labor Relations Board election instead.
- The largest free trade area in the world - the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, or AfCFTA - will come into effect on May 30. Note the link to theprepared.org's feature on the state of African supply chains :)
Making & Manufacturing.
- Another post from Low Tech Magazine, this time on building a solar powered (off-grid) web server. This is super cool, and encompasses everything from the reasoning behind the project (the internet apparently consumes 10% of global energy production), to the web design principles that allow for efficient content distribution (no server-side processing, static pages, default typefaces, etc) to the actual hardware used to run the server. I love the whole thing.
- The New York Times profiles seven female CEOs in real estate, architecture, engineering, and construction.
- A cool (old) photo of a tank hull being quenched after casting.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- I haven't used zipperrescue.com myself, but their zipper repair wizard looks pretty sweet.
- A funny and seriously thorough operational efficiency & safety audit (in the form of Twitter thread) of the "Scare Floor" in the Pixar movie Monsters, Inc.
Distribution & Logistics.
- The RF spectrum being auctioned for 5G development could interfere with weather satellites' ability to measure water vapor in the atmosphere. Water vapor emits a signal at 23.8 GHz, and weather satellites monitor that frequency to estimate water content in the atmosphere. The FCC has already sold off the 24.25-24.45 GHz and 24.75-25.25 GHz bands, and FCC chairman Ajit Pai is, predictably, unfazed by claims that 5G noise might throw off hurricane prediction models, etc.
Inspection, Testing & Analysis.
- A nonprofit called WattTime is using satellite data (visible spectrum + infrared + NO2, eventually) to measure real-time emissions from every power plant in the world; the results will be public. Related: One of the partners in this project, a think tank called Carbon Tracker, says that 42% of the coal power plants in the world are currently operating at a loss.
- A very enjoyable profile of W.L. Gore, innovators in PTFE and owners of the Gore-Tex brand.
- A bhangmeter is "a non-imaging radiometer installed on reconnaissance and navigation satellites to detect atmospheric nuclear detonations and determine the yield of the nuclear weapon."
- A grocery store in Bushwick has zero plastic packaging.
- Drowning doesn't look like drowning. "Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for is rarely seen in real life."
Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared. Thanks also to the following readers for sending links: Yotam, Kane, Shah, Felix, Andy, David, Christophe, James.
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