2020-02-03 2 min read


Architecture & Design.


Distribution & Logistics.

  • How the tiny town of Roundup, Montana became a hub in Amazon's supply chain, despite Amazon having no official presence in the town. A cluster of "prep centers" has arisen in Roundup, repackaging merchandise for third-party sellers according to Amazon's requirements and enabling those sellers to avoid sales taxes in the process. An interesting examination of the arbitrage taking place within Amazon's ecosystem and the logistical inefficiencies it creates, with lots of inventory traveling back and forth between fulfillment and prep centers before reaching an end customer.
  • Grubhub has an experimental program in which it lists restaurants without their permission or cooperation. "Delivering food from restaurants without their knowledge is challenging, it turns out, especially when many of those places aren’t equipped for delivery at all. Grubhub staff need to figure out, case by case, whether it’s possible to call in an order, or whether a driver should, say, go in and order take-out themselves."

Crime & Surveillance.


  • The principle of least astonishment in software and user interface design: A component of a system should behave in a way that most users expect it to behave, rather than surprising them. "If a necessary feature has a high astonishment factor, it may be necessary to redesign the feature."
  • In Miami last week, the National Weather Service issued a falling iguana warning due to unusually cold weather.

The neon tunnel at 127 John Street

Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared.

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Love, Drew.

p.s. - I'd love to grab coffee sometime. Drop me a line!
p.p.s. - Whenever possible, we work to encourage inclusivity. Here's how.

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