Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hurricanes Propel Forward Thinking on Risk, Resilience

Hurricanes Propel Forward Thinking on Risk, Resilience: Even as hard-hit areas of two of the country’s most developed regions push for normalcy after back-to-back hurricanes in early September, policymakers and construction industry experts are weighing the longer-term implications of the damage in Houston, Florida and the Caribbean from Harvey and Irma—and how and whether infrastructure resiliency can be accelerated and how that will affect coastal development.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Re-engineering Lego

Link to the article and podcast:


"Lego sets costing $100 or more face stiff competition from cheaper alternatives for today’s kids, Robertson pointed out. “Think about what you can get now for $10 – you can get a Raspberry Pi [computer], program it with a simple visual language program called Scratch, strap a couple of sensors and motors to it and for $30 you can do something pretty cool with it.” He noted that while Lego’s offering in that space called Lego Boost also teaches kids to program, the company has oversimplified that feature. Pricing is a critical issue for Lego because “$100 will buy you a pretty nice smartphone controlled drone,” he added.


Above all, Robertson wondered if the age profile of Lego’s target market is trending younger. “There are so many cool things for 8-year-olds and 9-year olds that weren’t there even five years ago,” he said. “I just wonder whether we are starting to see a shift in fundamental play preferences.”"

Why is Cement Exported?

Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of cement during 2016:
  1. China: US$692.4 million (7.6% of total cement exports)
  2. Thailand: $612.2 million (6.8%)
  3. United Arab Emirates: $544.4 million (6%)
  4. Turkey: $494.8 million (5.5%)
  5. Germany: $486.3 million (5.4%)
  6. Spain: $477.3 million (5.3%)
  7. Vietnam: $403 million (4.4%)
  8. Japan: $391.3 million (4.3%)
  9. Canada: $368.7 million (4.1%)
  10. India: $267 million (2.9%)
  11. Greece: $248.6 million (2.7%)
  12. Senegal: $209 million (2.3%)
  13. United States: $205.9 million (2.3%)
  14. Pakistan: $185.6 million (2%)
  15. South Korea: $162.9 million (1.8%)
The listed 15 countries shipped almost two-thirds (63.4%) of global exports in 2016 (by value).

The Last Centimeter Problem


Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Paragraph to Ponder

From an article in Forbes -

"Over the last couple of weeks, I was in Houston, Texas working with a Search and Rescue (SAR) team helping to find, recover, and relocate individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey. I traveled with a team from Harbinger Technologies Group (HTG), comprised of special operations veterans, law enforcement, EMT/Firefighters, communications, etc. Within 24 hours of the storm hitting, we were on the ground with two units—water and land rescue. Having been at the tip of the spear for several natural disasters over the past 20 years, it is amazing how the evolution of technology—especially the Internet of Things (IoT)—has matured and is saving lives. Although the severity of the disasters might increase, the loss of life has been greatly reduced by improvements in communications and the distribution of information."