Interesting analysis on the cost-benefit analysis of keeping sea lanes open using military power. The result is surprisingly low benefit which does not seem to justify the large naval expense. However, I am sure one could argue for additional benefits (geopolitical/security) other than just impact on trade.
A very interesting business model for aquaculture and offshore 3D farming.
“after 29 years of working on the oceans, I’ve remade myself as a 3D ocean farmer, growing a mix of seaweeds and shellfish for food, fuel, fertilizer, and feed”
Good (although with an advertorial bent) behind the scenes insight into the development of Amazon’s Echo here.
- The development process was long and hard with debates about its eventual market appeal and perfectionist ideals
- Received top level support and backing but this also increased demands and expectations on the development team
- Focus on a couple of key well-defined goals e.g. latency of voice recognition software that would provide cross-platform capabilities
- Fundamentally different concept to competitor products
- Lots of human testing to get user-experience right
- Specification change following market feedback (e.g. music playing capabilities)
- Pre-orders much greater than expectations demonstrating market demand but still focus remains on product improvement rather than sales growth
- Team felt that they were working towards a “cool vision” even if they knew it would be difficult to achieve
Some interesting research by Shell and MIT here looking at the climate change impact of various energy scenarios.
Rather alarmingly the work estimates that the world outlook is for 3.5 degrees of warming by 2100 based on the current COP21 promises. Even in Shell’s outlook and mountain scenarios warming is well above 1.5 degrees with approximately 2.5 and 2.75 degrees of warming respectively.
All scenarios are relatively close to each other up until around 2030 so it will be difficult to see which pathway the world is taking but by 2050 there is significant divergence.
Some interesting coverage on tax havens:
- Parking the big money
- What you need to know
- Where are the Americans?
- International tax avoidance and evasion
And somewhat related: How the world’s biggest bribe scandal unfolded in Iraq
6 interesting graphs on the impact of digital on the various sectors of the media industry.
Interesting inflection point in newspaper ad sales in 2009. And I am surprised by the continuing popularity in TV ad sales.
And some interesting data on the taxi industry in New York (data only covers about 1 year though so probably too early to draw any major conclusions):
Total trips per day have remained fairly constant over the past year whilst total number of vehicles dispatched has increased by ~50%. This seems to be a result of Uber and Lyft drivers working a lot less hours per week than traditional taxi drivers.
From: Tories and Communists
The big divide in politics and economics isn’t so much left versus right as between those who believe in top-down control versus those who believe in decentralization and empowering all the people.