Monday, October 9, 2017

Automation in Everyday Life

Automation in Everyday Life: Although Americans expect certain positive outcomes from developments in automation, they are worried and concerned about the implications of these technologies for society as a whole.

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Paragraph to Ponder

From Meeting of the Minds:


"Vegetation-related issues are a leading cause of electricity outages; PG&E has thus built out LIDAR gathering capabilities to help manage vegetation risk and now collects data within PG&E’s rights of way (capable of going down to 2-3 cm of accuracy). Such data could also be leveraged by cities themselves for asset monitoring, solar irradiation analysis on any PV facilities, or any number of other use cases potentially via options like licensing or cost sharing."

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