Planning & Strategy.
- "Your company needs a storyteller-in-chief."
- Marie Langer, daughter of Hans Langer, will take over as CEO of EOS - the prominent manufacturer of metal additive manufacturing systems. For context on Langer, see this profile on him (from 2019-05-06).
- In June XOXO ended work on the subscription platform (née Drip) they inherited from Kickstarter, saying they "couldn’t find a way to make the business viable." It would appear that this ends Kickstarter's attempt to compete with Patreon.
Making & Manufacturing.
- A company called Mara launched two new phones, both made in Rwanda; they claim to be the first smartphones fully made in Africa. It's a little hard to tell from this article, but it seems that Mara is doing both final assembly and subassembly in Africa; presumably lots of individual components still come from the global electronics supply chain. The phones are 2-3x the cost of the cheapest Samsung models, but will benefit from AfCFTA, a free trade agreement which covers nearly the entire continent. For more context, see theprepared.org's feature on African supply chains from late last year.
- "Six Emerging Advanced Manufacturing Technologies Developed by NASA." I think my favorite is the variable-power handheld laser torch, which looks like a TIG torch with a laser hacked into its backside.
- Research that uses processed coffee grounds to improve impact resistance and reduce cost of printed PLA parts.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTAs) are entities created by the US Census which generally track the USPS' ZIP code system, but specifically represent geographical areas whereas a ZIP code is just a collection of locations which are all served by the same post office.
- CollapseOS is a minimal operating system designed to be run on scavenged Zilog Z80 microprocessors, which are ubiquitous and easy to integrate with other scavenged hardware. This is literally an operating system for the endtimes, designed to be deployable after a "collapse," i.e. when civilization has crumbled. See this thread on the rather discouraging r/collapse subreddit for more context; see also the *very* web 1.0 Z80 support page and the Maker Pro "build your own Z80 computer" project.
- Bay Area mothers band together to keep breast milk frozen during power outages. Related, the NYTimes' piece from earlier this year about how PG&E got to where it is now.
Distribution & Logistics.
- This global internet map (and the corresponding submarine cable map, for that matter) is pretty cool and would make for a sweet gift for an infrastructure-minded friend (or your friendly newsletter editor :).
- Video of a big ship going through a really narrow canal.
- Young Brits appear to be moving (a little bit) away from plastic milk jugs and back to glass.
- A pretty rad twitter thread showing how drivers drive slower due to NYC's speed cameras. The charts here clearly show that some drivers do continue to speed, but each time they're ticketed their speed drops just a little bit.
Inspection, Testing & Analysis.
- A *very* provocative twitter thread comparing the per-mile CO2 emissions of a Tesla Model 3 to riding a bike. As someone who's (at least somewhat) conscious of the embodied emissions in my food, I find the analysis to be quite compelling; as a cyclist I find the comparison (the original post assumes that the cyclist eats only fruit) to be a complete straw man. Also note that cycling often replaces other unproductive (and energy consuming) exercise like running on a treadmill, and that an auto-focused urban design results in other negative effects on emissions (longer trip lengths, more inefficient detached housing, etc). I would love to commission a long form life cycle analysis on cycling-centric vs. EV-centric versions of the future; send submissions here.
- As a followup to last week's video on LED binning, an explanation of both the binning process and historical context on color matching in the lighting industry.
- NYC's investment in bike infrastructure (primarily barrier-protected bicycle-exclusive paths), evaluated. For the cost of roughly one subway ride per person, the city added an average of almost a day to its citizens' lifespans.
- A cute, tiny, DIY oscilloscope project.
- Painting zebra stripes on cows reduces the number of biting flies by more than half, adding support to the idea that zebras' stripes are an adaptation which confuses insects.
- Elon Musk's "pedo guy" deposition is pretty despicable.
- A FIDO2 based method of storing authentication info in an image's EXIF metadata, making it possible to verify that "an image wasn't tampered with, and also the location, time, and identity of the photographer."
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