Boston Dynamics finally has a commercial product, albeit one with decidedly opaque pricing. BD's "general guidance is that the total cost of the [Spot] early adopter program lease will be less than the price of a car - but how nice a car will depend on the number of Spots leased and how long the customer will be leasing the robot." Note that "the company is still 'in the early tens of [production quantity] robots.'"
ProvenCut is a company founded by John Saunders (of NYC CNC) which provides machining feed & speed recipes as a service. A clever idea, especially for small shops running relatively inexpensive equipment (Haas/Tormach) who don't have super stringent surface finish & efficiency requirements.
A sea change in Chinese consumption of used goods: "Between 2014 and 2018, China’s secondhand market grew by more than 450%, to $100 billion...in key sectors Chinese are consuming less new stuff by volume thanks to rising prices. For example, the volume of clothing purchased between 2017 and 2018 declined by nearly 25%." Note, I started reading Adam's forthcoming book on secondhand goods last weekend and am *very* into it.
Distribution & Logistics.
A 2005 column about FedEx's "just in case" fleet of Airbus A310s and the (ostensibly) resilient mid-aughts economy. At the time the fleet was made up of five jets (unclear if the quantity has changed, but the fleet now appears to be A300s and can be tracked today), and their job is to fly around the country - completely empty - and then divert to any FedEx hub which happens to be overbooked or experiencing a mechanical issue. "On a typical night, one of the five makes an unexpected stop to collect an overflow of packages, one lands to bail out a plane needing a repair, and three arrive in Memphis as empty as they were when they took off." Also, the idea of Alan Greenspan bumping into FedEx CEO Fred Smith at Redskins games is just too much.
A nice, satisfying video of wind turbine components being packed onto a cargo ship.
Numina released their public API, which allows queries for street-level data like "how does building construction affect the percentage of pedestrians walking in the street?" This tool - the ability to extract and analyze data directly from the urban landscape - strikes me as totally essential for cities.
How paints mix. This article is way above my head, and "summarizes mathematical methods to characterize any palette of primary paints and decompose any digital color into an analog paint mix recipe, using Kubelka-Munk theory, Schmid color charts, and visible-light spectroscopy."