“The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers' innovative fast food eatery, McDonald's, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness. “
Hollywood did not have the interest in detailing many of the innovations of the brothers or Ray, but Time does
Have you seen the movie Passengers? From IMDB “A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early.”
Instead of one long hibernation, like in Passengers, crew would go through staggered two-week stasis periods, says Bradford. After two weeks of hibernation, a crew member would be resuscitated, recover for a few days, and then go back into hibernation for another cycle. "Our medical team is more concerned about the duration of any one cycle versus repeat cycles," says Bradford, "because there doesn't seem to be any lasting or long-term impacts on the recovery period."
To set this artificial hibernation in motion (or, rather, not in motion), SpaceWorks would lower a person's core temperature to 32 degrees Celsius, then sedate her to stop the body's natural defense against the cold—shivering. Hospitals use this practice, called "therapeutic hypothermia" or "targeted temperature management," when a patient with a traumatic injury, such as cardiac arrest, needs extra time to heal due to lack of blood flow. The lowered temperature sets the patient into an unconscious-like state and acts as a neuroprotectant, slowing down his metabolic rate and lowering his risk of ischemic injury (tissue damage from lack of oxygen and other nutrients due to low blood flow). Once he's recovered, doctors can warm him back up and address other injuries.
The Navdy is the first portable head-up display (HUD). It sits atop the dash and plugs into the OBD-II port of any car made after 1996. It projects info such as speed, engine rpm, and compass direction on a transparent screen in front you, and uses built-in GPS and Google Maps to show the surrounding area, display speed limits and street names, and route you to your destination. It also connects to your Android or iOS smartphone via Bluetooth to display data including calls, texts, music, and all manner of social media and alerts. Access to this info is largely controlled using a thumbwheel that attaches to your steering wheel and is supplemented by gesture control that's activated by waving your hand in front of the device.
Saildrone, a self-sailing trimaran uses “13 sensors to collect environmental data or monitor the effect of seals on fish stocks. Backed by Google's Eric Schmidt, the seven-metre yachts have travelled 111,000 kilometres, with customers paying up to £2,000 a day for the data they collect.”
In writing my recent book, Silicon Collar I saw several mismatches in the labor market. There have been nearly 5 million unfilled jobs for 4+ years. Yet, people have racked up over a trillion in student debt for education many cannot parlay into jobs. Higher education still thinks in terms of 4-6-8 years of formal school when the average job is lasting 5 years or less. We need to revisit our learning methods and fast.
I have also written about how cities like Greenville, SC and Fort Worth, TX have reinvented themselves with next-gen manufacturing and logistics.
So, I was pleased to see that DeVry offers an Advanced Manufacturing Bootcamp. I got this from their CMO
“Advanced manufacturing teams play an important role in building America’s future. The landscape of U.S. manufacturing is changing, and there are good opportunities for people with the right technical skills.
DeVry’s ONLINE SKILLS TRAINING is a blend of step-by-step explanations, interactive visuals, simulations and assessments that enabling you to master up to 11 career-oriented Advanced Manufacturing Programs at your own pace.
Many of the programs can be completed in as little as 2 to 3 months, quickly preparing you to pursue specific, entry-level manufacturing positions across a variety of industries.”
The first wave, as we call it, primarily exploited differences in labor and other input costs between developed and developing markets. By contrast, the second wave is driven primarily by business model innovation and typically leverages new technology. These companies are characterized by extensive and often radical reconfigurations of the profit formula, resources, processes, and relationships within a broader stakeholder ecosystem. They may have a sophisticated global orientation from the start; for example, in Viki’s case, the company was “born global,” beginning as a class project by graduate students who were studying in the United States but who later moved the company to Singapore.
ST Microelectronics AS5C Y533 (also found in the 2015 Apple TV)
L05286 QS4 VG Z SGP 528
Cambridge Silicon Radio (Qualcomm) CSR1012A05 Bluetooth Smart IC
3.82 V, 0.329 Wh lithium-ion battery
pressure and angle sensors
package also has a spare tip and a Lightning and Lightning adapter
Apple is rumored to be bringing out the second generation Pencil this year. Hopefully, it can also scale up production and lower the cost. Users are reporting they lose the Pencil quite easily, and most certainly the cap, which hides the Lightning connector. At least, there is a cheap solution for the cap – the glow in the dark PencilCozy.
Yes, it’s gross, but thanks to the “60-day Space Poop Challenge,” spearheaded by crowdfunding platform HeroX — with the support of NASA — has come up with some inventive solutions for responding to nature’s call in zero gravity.
In my books and blogs I have profiled thousands of innovative companies, and not once have I mentioned Costco, the second largest retailer in the world. I had never been into one of their store. There was none near us, and you have to be a member to shop there.
Well, they recently opened one near us, and mailed us an invitation. I was about to ignore it, but asked for input from my Facebook friends. I was blown away by the positive comments. In these snarky times where most conversations are about politics and ugly, the glowing tone woke me up from my long slumber.
It is a high wire act – a discounter which has sold a hot dog and drink for $ 1.50 for years, and yet carries wine bottles priced in the thousands.
I went to the store to sign up, and was easily convinced to sign up for the Executive Membership. The coupons that came with that made we walk around the entire store (the outside aisle which circles the store is affectionately called the “race track”), and spend way more than I had planned. I then filled up at the gas station, came home and ordered another item on the web site and downloaded a bunch of coupons on the mobile app.
Watch the video below for a long list of things that make the warehouse so attractive to so many.
Before computers existed as we know them, data was processed by women, often black women. But they were much more than mere calculators. Indeed, the achievements of Katherine Johnson and many others were integral to NASA’s success. The film Hidden Figures, about their part in the race for space, is currently on release in the US and will be out in the UK on 17 February.
Users will still have to do some tasks, such as partially buttoning shirts, ensuring clothes aren’t inside out, and bunching socks before putting them inside the machine. That’s because even the best machine-learning applications can’t figure out how to fold a pair of socks.
Each item takes about 10 minutes to fold, which Sakane attributed to the time necessary to scan each part of the clothing and communicate via Wi-Fi with a central server. He is working to get it down to 3-to-5 minutes, but said the robot was designed to be used passively while users are doing something else or out of the house.
Every America’s Cup has its own design rules, influenced by the defending champion. The next one in Bermuda this summer will see a 50 footer (down from 72 in the 2013 Cup) and have a crew of 6, instead of 11.
“The new America’s Cup Class boats are foiling, wingsailed catamarans, 15 meters in length and capable of reaching highway speeds approaching 100 km/h. In addition they are extremely maneuverable, making them ideal match racing platforms.”
“We know there is still speed to be found between now and May 26 when racing begins”
“America’s Cup Class catamarans use lift generated over a hydrofoil suspended under the hull—like a wing under water—to boost the boat up out of the waves and make it fly. Instead of pushing its hull through the water, the yacht skims the surface, riding on what look like little feet. The result? Where the old boat could only “fly” when going downwind, Oracle has nearly perfected how to rest on its foils no matter the conditions.”
According to the Oracle USA team
“Over 15 designers and 50 boat-builders have contributed to the design and build of “17”, with more than 85,000 man-hours accumulated to date. Team partners like Airbus, BMW, Parker and Yanmar have provided technical expertise and support.”
One of the Airbus contributions is “the use of brand-new microelectromechanical sensors or MEMS. Typically used to monitor aircraft wings, the company developed a special version of the sensors to return information on the boat's wing. Eight strips containing a total of 400 sensors were applied to the wing during testing, which were able to reveal information about the conditions found at the top of the (75 foot) sail versus the bottom.”
The F-35 is one of the most complex machines ever built, a 1,200mph single-engine fighter/bomber. Lockheed won't confirm, but according to GlobalSecurity.org stealth technology reduces its radar profile to that of a golf ball. Assembled in a mile-long building, the plane is crammed with sensors that allow the pilot to "see" through the bottom of the cockpit via a helmet display. The outer skin is attached to the titanium-and-aluminum frame with a precision that Mercedes-Benz can only dream of. A variance of several ten-thousandths of an inch from spec is enough to produce radar reflections that degrade the plane's stealth capability. Onboard computers running 9 million lines of code allow multiple F-35s to share encrypted communications to triangulate enemy positions. With an internal bomb load of 4,700 pounds in stealth mode and 18,000 pounds when carried on noisier underwing pylons, the plane is designed to sneak in and destroy enemy air defenses and return for full-scale bombing.
In writing my recent book, Silicon Collar I saw several mismatches in the labor market. There have been nearly 5 million unfilled jobs for 4+ years. Yet, people have racked up over a trillion in student debt for education many cannot parlay into jobs. Higher education still thinks in terms of 4-6-8 years of formal school when the average job is lasting 5 years or less. We need to revisit our learning methods and fast.
So, I have been watching with interest as Nick Hortovanyi started describing on social media his experience in a new area using Udacity.
Nick had graced this blog a couple of years ago as he described how wearables and data were reshaping his passion for cycling
I asked him how and why he decided on Udacity
“I'm not an academic, have never been to University and the thought maybe of going to University for 3+ years was offputting. I have had a life long learning experience with technology via technology itself. The Udacity Silicon Valley approach seems to fit how I learn using the internet itself."
However, he is not using Udacity for learn a well-trodden subject. And he is doing it across the Pacific from his home on the Gold Coast of Australia.
"I was having trouble finding a large enough market for a startup vision, I had improving performance of cyclists from the data they collected. Thus as part of my what’s next thinking I applied for the new Udacity Self Driving Car Engineer Nano Degree. I thought if I got in, that'd be great, I could get recognition for some of my more recent data science learnings as well as learn more about AI (Deep Learning & Machine Learning), Computer Vision and Robotics.”
It is cutting edge stuff like the Advanced Lane Detection project where he applied “computer vision techniques to augment video output with a detected road lane, road radius curvature and road centre offset.”
(Ladies, even if you are not into supply chain innovations, check out the functional and attractive Dagne Dover handbags in the video.)
FedEx joins a space filled with other logistics providers and Amazon.com Inc.’s Fulfillment by Amazon service, in which merchants selling on Amazon’s marketplace pay Amazon to store and ship their goods.
Dagne Dover is one of what FedEx Fulfillment hopes will be many merchants—from startups to midsize retailers selling across multiple sites and online marketplaces—using its new service, Dan Coll, FedEx Supply Chain’s senior manager of e-commerce fulfillment, tells Internet Retailer. In 2015, FedEx bought logistics firm Genco as a part of a push into e-commerce and later renamed the unit FedEx Supply Chain. That unit has 130 warehouses and distribution centers in North America, totaling 35 million square feet, and FedEx says it processes 358 million returns annually and 580,000 direct-to-consumer shipments daily.
I love to see all the CEOs that President Trump has met with over the last few weeks. I am delighted he has elevated the head of the Small Business Administration to a Cabinet Level position. I think he is going to be good for business.
He is also helping, often unintentionally, the content world. As my wife commented, just like J.K. Rowling introduced a number of young kids to the joys of books in the midst of electronic toys, Trump’s “unique style” is bringing on a renewed interest in language and satire
As words like “bigly” and “snowflake” enter everyday lexicon, boring dictionaries are getting lots of attention
“In addition to Merriam-Webster being up for a web award, the work of the revamped editorial team — which now consists of a dozen editors, data analysts, and graphic designers — has caught the attention of its competitors.”
Late Night Comedy
People are sleeping later as they watch more TV, especially political satire. According to NBC , the ratings of Saturday Night Live are the highest in more than 20 years. Viewership is up 22 percent from this time last season to 10.6 million viewers.
“Since Election Day, the team’s strategy has become more complicated. “Fake news has dominated 90 percent of our conversations,” says Storyful Chief Executive Officer Rahul Chopra. While Facebook and Twitter denied, then grudgingly acknowledged, the role they played in spreading newsy-looking lies during the crucial final weeks of the presidential campaign, Chopra’s staff focused on ways to debunk false items.”
Below is the video which talks about their “fake news” filter via their add-on, Verify for the Chrome browser
“Ford, America’s truck leader, is celebrating a major milestone as F-Series now reigns as the top-selling truck in the country for 40 consecutive years and best-selling vehicle for 35 years.
Ford has now sold more than 26 million F-Series trucks since January 1977. Think of it like this: That many trucks could circle the globe more than three times, or, lined up bumper-to-bumper, would span 90,000-plus miles.
Ford truck leadership was established with the sixth-generation of F-Series for the 1977 model year, a time when 8-track tapes, disco and bell bottoms were the rage. The company was riding a sales wave – based on an all-new F-150 light-duty pickup featuring an improved 351-series V8 engine, standard front disc brakes, and an extended SuperCab offering.”
Melanfonie, out in January, was composed on a laptop "with really horrible cheap-sounding orchestra sample libraries programmed together with my mouse," she says. And after raising €25,000 (£22,250) from Kickstarter, Jolly could afford to hire a 50-piece orchestra and spend eight hours recording them in a former Communist Party studio in Prague. To give the music more of a dance feel, Jolly physically rearranged the orchestra. Usually the basses and violins sit on opposite sides of the pit to separate the high and low notes. But Jolly put all the basses in the middle, with a group of violins on both sides, to replicate the widespread high notes and central bassline of a Timbaland-produced track. "I tried to compose everything to be exactly how it would sound in the room so it can be performed live," she says.
Corporate conference rooms are filled with collaboration tools that often fall just short of people's needs and expectations. The speaker phone is often hard to hear, and the projector has to be wheeled in from another room. The whiteboard is a simple tool, but there's no way to transfer information off of the board, aside from snapping a picture of it.
Cisco is trying to solve this problem with the Spark Board, an "all-in-one" digital whiteboard that serves as a projector, whiteboard, and audio-video conferencing tool. The new device is 100 percent cloud-connected, built on an updated Cisco Spark platform. It's the first video-capable device that Cisco has shipped that's only connected to the cloud.
Three in five fliers are connecting to somewhere else, and Dubai’s airport has been designed as a massive machine to facilitate their movements, a polished-stone fulcrum between Dar es Salaam and Guangzhou, Dallas and Dhaka. The bulk of flights arrive and depart in three “waves”: one from 2 to 4:30 a.m., another from 7 to 11 a.m., and a third from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Between those rushes the airport is eerily quiet, even in the operations center, the size of a hockey rink, where Emirates manages the flights. A giant central screen shows the location of every Emirates plane in the air. A thick, curved line of blue avatars is headed to and from Western Europe; a smaller cluster moves between Dubai and Africa; another inches toward East Asia. Far to the north, flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco are headed straight over the top of the world.
To spend time on Planet Emirates is to be bombarded with reminders of the awesome scale of its operations, often proffered by staff who’ve worked there since the early days and remain mildly bewildered by what the company has become. The airline operates an industrial-size wine cellar in Burgundy, with 3.75 million bottles aging at any given time. Its flight kitchens are the largest in the world and make almost everything from scratch, from hummus to hamburgers, as well as 25,000 muffins a day. They incorporate what Emirates says is the world’s largest dishwashing operation, using 17 colossal machines to clean 3.5 million items daily. In case of a breakdown, 200,000 sets of cutlery are kept in reserve.
The biggest upgrade to the FOX broadcast feed this year comes courtesy of Intel. The Silicon-Valley tech company aims to provide as many as two dozen player’s eye view clips from the game, a feature called “Be the Player.” The feature, based on its 360 Replay technology, models the real world so that virtual views from any location can be generated.
Intel has installed 38 5K cameras high above the field at NRG Stadium in Houston, bolted onto the building’s metal structure. Pointed downwards, these cameras operate more like sensors, feeding visual data back to a rack of servers elsewhere inside the stadium. Working together, those servers can digitally reconstruct the 3D world of the game, representing real objects using 3D pixels, known as voxels.
When FOX sends a request—perhaps for a quarterback’s view from the pocket during a crucial play, or a linebacker’s view from the other side of the ball—two Intel staffers will take over. The system’s pilot will operate a virtual camera, choosing where and when to position the viewpoint in the 3D reconstruction. The navigator will package the visual feed from the pilot into a clip that can be relayed back to FOX. The whole process will take a couple of minutes, so don’t expect instant replays yet.
What interested me, however, was what the vending machines say about Japan's unique culture. An obvious answer stuck out: Japanese people, and Tokyoites in particular, work a lot and therefore value convenience. But so do New Yorkers, as well as any other number of city-dwellers, and still vending machines are not nearly as popular.
So why are they ubiquitous? Sociologists and economists have offered a few potential answers.
Thanks to Jim Hays for the pointer to the Aipoly app which “runs convolutional neural networks directly on your mobile phone. This artificial intelligence is able to understand your camera's input and describe what it sees out loud.”
This is apparent as Callahan surveys the 21st-century banking terrain: digital competitors are massing on every front—from fintech start-ups to new divisions of global institutions—while the speed of every banking process and customer interaction accelerates daily. All this change requires a focus on agility, Callahan says, which in turn demands a cultural rewiring.
At the helm of Citi’s digital transformation, Callahan is helping drive new thinking across the bank. He points to Citi’s digital lab for start-up innovations, powerful new apps for customer smartphones, and, internally, a push to expand capabilities across cloud computing and big data and analytics that enable automation and machine learning. In an interview with McKinsey’s James Kaplan and Asheet Mehta, Callahan describes what it takes to mobilize digital change at one of the world’s leading financial institutions.
As it does every year, Ad Age updates through game day a tally of commercials each brand is planning – this year costing $ 5 to 5.5 m per 30 seconds (in contrast, Game 7 of this year’s exciting World Series only $500,000 and the Oscars last year cost about $2 million)
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, Layer provided messaging tools as part of the Forum’s app that allowed one user to send a message in her native language – and another user to receive it in his native language.
“The attendees are obviously from all over the world, and they’re all seeking to understand one another, so being able to facilitate that communication is pretty powerful,” said Ron Palmeri, Layer’s chief executive.
To add the instant translation ability, Layer used the Microsoft Translator API, which lets developers build translation into their apps and other tools. Layer said it only took about four hours to add the translator to their messaging tool using Microsoft’s API, and Palmeri said they expect to use translation capabilities for other clients in the future.
I have several productivity goals on my bucket list. I would love to dictate an entire book on my iPhone even with the ambient noise while I rack up my average of 8 to 10,000 FitBit steps a day. I want to get rid of my computer bag so my feet can have a bit more space to compensate for the airlines increasingly depriving them of some. I want to move away from a laptop, and its bulky cord and mobile mouse when I travel.
I may be able to accomplish some of those goals with a 9.7 inch iPad Pro and some accessories
It’s wrapped around by a Logitech Create case that is supposed to protect against bumps, scratches and spills. On the inside, a lightweight polycarbonate frame and a keyboard module provide structural integrity without weighing down the iPad. So, I can just put it in my carry-on bag with the Lightning charger. Goodbye laptop bag.
I am hoping the Apple Pencil with the Nebo handwriting recognition app will allow me to leave the Moleskine notebook at home. The Create case has special drawing angle which makes it easier to use the Pencil. With the case and the Pencil, the total package is still under 2 lbs. Lighter than my laptop and cord at 5 lbs.
I am similarly hoping the Shure MV88 mic for the Lightning port with its Motiv app will allow me to leave the much heavier Zoom digital recorder at home. Another half a pound in lowered weight.
I expect to still use the laptop at home. For writing book manuscripts and lots of blog posts it is much more productive, but for travel, want to see if the iPad combo can do fine.
Homer Erekson, Dean at the Neeley School of Business at TCU, my alma mater, invited me to present as part of the Tandy Executive Speaker Series. I have not spent much time in Ft. Worth since I graduated and started my career at the PwC office there. I have spent much more time in nearby Dallas which of course has been growing nicely. So, it was good to go visit the much expanded campus (a third of the university's students go through the business school), spend some time in the much different downtown and the still vibrant stockyards.
What really stood out for me was when Dean Erekson told me about the school’s supply chain credentials, which in turn reflect the bustling AllianceTexas commercial and residential park that Ft. Worth has grown.
Alliance is an impressive multi-modal logistics hub with
BNSF Railway’s Intermodal Facility
Two Class I rail lines (BNSF and Union Pacific)
Alliance Airport - the world’s first 100% industrial airport
Interstate Highway 35W from Mexico to Canada, Texas Highways 114 and 170, and the
FedEx Southwest Regional Sort Hub
The video below summarizes nicely the massive scope.
With the Panama Canal expansion, Texas ports should see increased traffic and that should allow Alliance and Ft Worth to grow even more rapidly
• Altamonte Springs, Fla. The city covers up to 25% of your Uber fare to or from the city's commuter train station, or 20% of the fare for using Uber on all trips that begin and end within Altamonte Springs. The program recently expanded to Lake Mary, Longwood, Maitland and Sanford.
• Dallas. Dallas Area Rapid Transit and Lyft have partnered to offer a "first-last" mile program for mass transit users. Riders can use the Lyft mobile app to connect with a driver, then connect to a bus or light rail. DART has a separate agreement with ZipCar.
• Summit, N.J. To alleviate parking congestion, the city subsidizes ridesharing for a group of residents on a limited basis. It aims to save the taxpayers $5 million over the next two years, or about the cost of building a parking lot.
On our recent trip around the world, between us we flew 9 airlines. The no-frills Tiger flight from Singapore to Hong Kong was a reminder of how aviation used to be just a short while ago – no entertainment, no navigation, no web access. The other flights, in contrast, showed the remarkable range of consumer technology in the air these days.
The Delta Navigation UX
The Air France interactive Navigation UX
Singapore Air Navigation UX
Cameras on Emirates which show views from cockpit and the belly of the plane
Wide range of entertainment on Emirates, including the entire Star Wars movie set
We flew on wide bodies on most segments and most had power outlets and USB ports. Here is one on a Singapore 777
Internet availability is still spotty and expensive, but with GoGo, Delta has coverage over much of the world's water.
The new "Boeing Blue" spacesuits for the Starliner capsule weigh about 20 lbs. (9 kilograms) each with all of their accessories, compared to 30 lbs. (13.6 kg) for the old space shuttle suits, NASA officials said.
Other advances include touch-screen-sensitive gloves, more-flexible material and soft helmets that are incorporated into the suit (rather than the hard, detachable helmets of the shuttle era).
A greeter checks in "members" on an iPad before directing them to a purpose-built full-body scanner that measures myriad parameters that are then fed into Forward's AI algorithms, which can help doctors detect symptoms. New members are put through a "baseline" workup that includes blood and genetic tests, along with the body scan, to build a comprehensive picture of their health.
By the time members make it to exam rooms in the back of the practice, their data is ready to be viewed and manipulated by patient and doctor together on a giant touchscreen that helps to guide a doctor's diagnostic and decision-making capabilities and treatment plans. Before they leave, members are given one of the Forward-approved wearable devices, which are designed to beam the member's vitals to Forward caregivers in real time, and perhaps some supplements too.
More than two years after Tesla broke ground on the facility, the $5 billion Gigafactory has begun producing lithium-ion battery cells. The first such cells under the partnership between Tesla and Panasonic have rolled of the Gigafactory for use in Tesla’s Powerwall 2 home energy products. By the second quarter of this year, Tesla expects to the Gigafactory to be cranking out batteries for its Model 3 electric vehicles.
Tesla said the factory has opened with a footprint of 1.9 million square feet and 4.9 million square feet of operational space over its various floors. And all of that building space is small compared to what Tesla has planned: The company said the Gigafactory is actually less than 30 percent complete, and that it will be the biggest building in the world when finished.
Seattle is synonymous with serious innovation and incubation. It supports an eclectic mix of established companies and startups, as well as small businesses and those owned by people of color. The University of Washington offers a world-class computer science program. Industry clusters in popular fields such as gaming—Nintendo of America, Microsoft Xbox, Big Fish, PopCap and RealNetworks GameHouse—thrive here. Now Bay Area tech companies—Facebook, Google, Salesforce, Dropbox and Adobe—are pushing the digital envelope from Seattle.
Seattle already leads in cloud computing, thanks to Microsoft, Amazon and more than 2,000 Seattle-based Google employees. Coming soon are scores of good-paying gigs in computing trends such as intelligent applications, artificial intelligence/machine learning and augmented reality/virtual reality.
Brllnt’s symbiotic relationship with WeWork hints at a much larger shift in how we organize work, and where. The startup’s choice of a host was not coincidental. With more than 80,000 members spread across 112 locations in 32 cities worldwide, WeWork represents something new in the annals of the office: a talent pool with the scope and scale of a multinational corporation whose collective brain is there for the picking. Whether it justifies its $16 billion valuation, it’s already one of the biggest beneficiaries of two trends driving the unbundling — and rebundling — of creative work.
“For years, Saroo would stay up late at night poring over maps and imagery in Google Earth, trying to find a place that would match his 20-year-old memories of childhood. He remembered a water tank, a bridge, a fountain near a movie theater. He knew that the station where he'd been separated from his brother started with a 'B.' He thought his village was called "Ginestlay," but couldn't find it on any map. In a nation as vast and as densely populated as India, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.
And then, after years of wandering Google Earth, he spotted a promising-sounding train station called Burhanpur, and traced the railway tracks north to the city of Khandwa. There it was: not Ginestlay, but a neighborhood called Ganesh Talai. Close enough! He flew to India, but when he arrived at his childhood home, it was dark and locked. Luckily, a neighbor knew where his family had moved to, and he was quickly reunited with his mother and siblings. The power of cartography!”
During my recent round the world trip we had a chance to try all kinds of meals that foodies would appreciate. But we also made it a point to try out humble places - many which don’t take reservations, don’t take credit cards, and yet serve a wide range of freshly cooked and raw food.
And some of them are even getting recognized by foodies like Hawker Chan in Singapore which has qualified for a Michelin star. Singapore loves the hawker concept and has several collections where you can get everything from fish and chips to a shrink wrapped slice of papaya to a ready to drink and eat baby coconut.
We hit a gem in Abu Dhabi called Lebanese Mill. Lines form for this place where you can get traditional mezze – hummus, falafel etc, and a decent roast chicken.
Mumbai is dotted with small cafes like Prabhakar Tea House. They serve udipi snacks like dosai and idli and a soft drink or a cup of sweet, milky tea for about 50c. Funnily if you ask for bag of tea and hot water to brew your own cup, the price triples
In Hong Kong we ran into places like Amy’s Kitchen. You could drive by it hundred times and not notice - in picture below it is behind the silver van. Given the name, we expected a menu in English but had to point to pictures on the menu. The shrimp curry turned out halfway decent!
As they say eat where the locals do. Not sure I could advise though that you drink what they drink
General Assembly, for example, is just one of a number of coding-bootcamp providers. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) offered by companies such as Coursera and Udacity, feted at the start of this decade and then dismissed as hype within a couple of years, have embraced new employment-focused business models. LinkedIn, a professional-networking site, bought an online training business, Lynda, in 2015 and is now offering courses through a service called LinkedIn Learning. Pluralsight has a library of on-demand training videos and a valuation in unicorn territory. Amazon’s cloud-computing division also has an education arm.
Universities are embracing online and modular learning more vigorously. Places like Singapore are investing heavily in providing their citizens with learning credits that they can draw on throughout their working lives. Individuals, too, increasingly seem to accept the need for continuous rebooting. According to the Pew survey, 54% of all working Americans think it will be essential to develop new skills throughout their working lives; among adults under 30 the number goes up to 61%. Another survey, conducted by Manpower in 2016, found that 93% of millennials were willing to spend their own money on further training. Meanwhile, employers are putting increasing emphasis on learning as a skill in its own right.
The universal set of emoji are “regulated,”for lack of a better term, by the very unsexy- and unfunny- sounding Unicode Consortium, which gives each approved emoji its own universally recognized, unique code. The nonprofit consortium is an alliance of big tech companies, including Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Facebook and others, that pay an annual fee of s18,000 to vote on characters and other text decisions. Having one central coding depot ensures that devices created by competing companies recognize each other’s text and symbols. Emoji make up just a small percentage of the many text codes issued by the organization. The process of creating new emoji takes about 18 months from start to finish, and anyone can submit applications to the consortium for a new icon, along with the reasoning behind it.
Dyson may be the world’s most interesting engineering and design firm. It’s not just because they manufacture 40,000 inventive products a day, from high-end vacuum cleaners to fans with no blades, but because it’s a multi-billion dollar empire that’s owned, not by shareholders, but by one man, its founder, James Dyson.
James Dyson is approaching 70, and of three children, he has one son who has been anointed his successor: Jake. (His other son is a musician, while his daughter is a fashion designer.)
For the Carnival cruise of the future, the personalization will begin at home, when you start choosing exactly what to book. Then your Medallion arrives in the mail. A small disk, about the size of a quarter and laser-etched on the back with your name, you wear it on a bracelet of your choice. Inside, the Medallion has long-range and near-field sensors, so that all the sensors on the ship can pinpoint exactly who you are, and where you are. Equally as important is the app, dubbed Compass, which you can access to change your itinerary and make new bookings for restaurants and shows. The choices you make, the tours you tap on to find out more, even the places you linger the longest on the ship all become fodder for machine-learning algorithms that try to map what you’ve done to what you’re most likely to enjoy.
Connected via Bluetooth to an associated app, the GPS-enabled glasses are meant to offer a better option over some smart glasses that place an eyepiece on the lens, potentially partially obstructing a rider's view. In addition to the app component (promised for both iOS and Android), the glasses also offer a side interface that can be operated using swipe gestures, allowing the cyclist to operate the glasses without stopping or taking his eyes off the road. The company says the Raptor will also offer handlebar and voice control interfaces to control its functions.
For builders, the case for return on investment is straightforward. Drones are cheaper to fly than manned aircraft and faster than human surveyors, and they collect data far more frequently than either, letting construction workers track a site’s progress with a degree of accuracy previously unknown in the industry. With the right computing tools, builders can turn sensor data into 3D structural models, topographical maps, and volumetric measurements (useful for monitoring stockpiles of costly resources like sand and gravel). Collectively, that intelligence allows construction companies to more efficiently deploy resources around a job site, minimize potential issues, trim costs, and limit delays.
Most of us have only a foggy memory of Pan Am, the airline which went into bankruptcy in 1991. In its glory days, the airline was a pioneer in many ways including as charter customer for the jumbo jet, the Boeing 747. And it launched the first round-the-world scheduled service way back in 1947. PA Flight 1, a DC-4, would fly out of San Francisco and make several stops in the Pacific and end up in Calcutta, India. There it met Flight 2, a Constellation that had flown eastward from New York, and flew back through stops in the Middle East and Europe.
Pan Am continued to evolve the RTW service and rotate the stopovers in the decades that followed, including places like Beirut and Teheran, few international airlines service any more. Periodically it would run variations of the flight for diehard RTW fans. An example was flight Clipper 50 in 1977 (to celebrate its 50th anniversary) which straddled both the North and South poles. Passengers paid $ 3,333 in first and $ 2,222 in economy on a record setting journey that took 54 hours, 7 minutes and 12 seconds and covered 26,706 miles.
Competitors would take pot shots that Pan Am could not technically fly a RTW since Pan Am did not have rights to the domestic New York to California segments but flying on PA 001 became a bucket list item for many travelers.
And even for business travelers the RTW fare was attractive if they could stay within the many rules that went with the fare - one direction only, no back tracking, no more than 12 stopovers across the globe, all travel within 6 months, changes to itinerary required a change fee, traveling south of the equator added a significant premium etc.
When I accepted an assignment for Price Waterhouse in Saudi Arabia in the mid 80s, I was determined to fly RTW at least once. Being a "hardship" assignment, Price Waterhouse would pay for 2 annual business class trips back to the US. I negotiated instead to use the budget to get RTW fares in economy. When you have boring nights in places like Yanbu, you have time to plan the comply with the many rules of RTW fares. I also found that if you originated your journey in London (which back then had number of bucket shops) you could get significantly better value and choice in airlines. I managed to do the RTW three times.
Unfortunately, Pan Am was in terminal decline by that stage. And I had many scars to show from long delayed flights, lost baggage, rude service, and honestly it killed my appetite for long range air travel. I fly a couple of international flights a year now but don't particularly enjoy them even when upgraded.
Fast forward to 2016. Planning to be at a wedding reception in India in December, and with a couple of business meetings planned on the way, I told my kids we ought to consider a stopover in Europe and one in Asia on the way back, providing they found us good fares and used frequent flyer miles. In other words, craft a RTW itinerary without the shackles of all the fare rules. Find they did - many point to point flights and the itinerary grew and got personalized to each of our schedules. Our stops were in Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore and Hong Kong and we used those for side trips to Abu Dhabi, Delhi/Agra and Macau. Between us, we flew Air France, Air India, Delta, Emirates, Hainan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Southwest and Tiger. (And even MetroJET, though that is a hydrofoil service not an airline)
As I do after such family trips I have a 200 page report on all the stuff we experienced and saw. It was an amazing trip and we were blessed with lovely weather and few delays. But here's a quick look at what is different in the three decades since I flew the RTW trips on Pan Am - besides of course the fact that we could build our own routing.
There is incredible choice in airlines, most of them affordable, especially one-way in economy class. The equipment is much newer. On the trip we flew mostly 777s, A330s, 787s, 737-700s - most under 10 years old. The planes all had decent seat back entertainment, power charging facilities and a wide array of navigation information. Internet availability is still a bit sketchy. And pleasantly decent leg space on every segment - I am 6 2 and usually fussy about that.
In just about every respect, the in-flight experience was better than that on the 20 year old 747s I flew on Pan Am. The couple of negatives - carry on luggage guidelines are still too confusing and stingy, so each flight we added a little more check in time in case we had to shuffle stuff around. There was meal service on most flights and choice of 2-3 cuisines on every flight - as a result the service seemed rushed on flights less than 4 hours.
The quality of airports is so much better. Mumbai has an impressive new airport with 30+ 100 foot columns but Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong put it to shame with the volume of traffic they support and the facilities in their airports. They are shopping malls, art galleries, movie theatres and more. Immigration in each was a breeze - short forms, pleasant greetings, digital passport scanners ubiquitous. So much so that my wife remarked that US immigration coming home seemed unwelcoming in contrast. The negative of these airports - because of their size and distance from main cities, you have to plan 3-4 hours each way.
Put an RTW on your bucket list. Just don't try to do it in 54 hours like Clipper 50 did! And splurge and do it in business or first.
And if I can help with your planning, drop me a line.