Wood has many attractions as a construction material, apart from its aesthetic qualities. A wooden building is about a quarter of the weight of an equivalent reinforced-concrete structure, which means foundations can be smaller. Timber is a sustainable material and a natural “sink” for CO2, as trees lock in carbon from the atmosphere. Tall steel-and-concrete buildings tend to have a large carbon footprint, in part because of the amount of material required to support them. Using wood could reduce their carbon footprint by 60-75%, according to some studies.
In recent years there have been big advances in “engineered” wood, such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) made from layers of timber sections glued together with their grains at right angles to one another. In much the same way that aligning carbon-fibre composites creates stronger racing cars, aircraft and golf clubs, CLT imparts greater rigidity and strength to wooden structures.
Source: Top of the tree | The Economist
The company’s controversial design choices make it hard to imagine the alternatives they preclude.
What else might have come to pass instead? And what alternatives might yet be possible?
Source: Apple’s New Headphone Jack Is About Control – The Atlantic
The returns to scale for being smart, young, skilled, and high-energy have gone up tremendously, and that has profound implications for society. The smart are getting richer.
What’s missing is the traditionally fat middle. We’ve gone from a normally distributed set of outcomes, to a power-law distribution. The median is a small fraction of the mean.
Source: The returns to entrepreneurship
Notice and consent is an absurd legal fiction. … But as terrible as notice-and-consent is, at least it pretends that people should have some say in the destiny of the data that evanescences off of their lives as they move through time, space, and information.
The next generation of networked devices are literally incapable of participating in that fiction.
The best way to secure data is never to collect it in the first place. Data that is collected is likely to leak. Data that is collected and retained is certain to leak. A house that can be controlled by voice and gesture is a house with a camera and a microphone covering every inch of its floorplan.
Source: Locus Online Perspectives » Cory Doctorow:The Privacy Wars Are About to Get A Whole Lot Worse
It takes a brilliance to change the world. It takes something else entirely to wait patiently for people to notice. “Zen-like patience” isn’t a typical trait associated with entrepreneurs. But it’s often required, especially for the most transformative products.
Source: When You Change the World and No One Notices — Collaborative Fund