In 1991, Kazakhstan became the last Soviet republic to declare independence. Six years later, the government moved from the Almaty to Astana (formerly known as Aqmola). There, with the help of architects like Norman Foster, they built a futuristic city on the remains of old buildings from the Soviet era.
The authors adopt the conventional (and correct) view of the Enlightenment, that between the late 17th and early 19th centuries, a number of philosophers and other writers advanced theories — about economics, politics, science and society — that marked a decisive break with the past. These concepts, they believe, still define the modern world. The authors’ big four are Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin and (a joint prize) Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton. The ideas are, of course, capitalism, socialism, evolution and liberal democracy.
Flex’s 2,500 product designers have created a library of 130 component designs that can help companies cobble together devices more quickly. Some of its engineers have built a tiny sensor that scans your retina, useful for products that need to log in users without keyboards. Another group focuses on bendable circuit boards that will be used in electronic tattoos to track vital signs, or in sneaker-mounted wireless chargers that draw power from a wearer’s movement, says Joan Vrtis, who heads that team. “We are trying to be very much in front of what our customers want,” she says.
To help customers make use of its components or create new ones, Sargent has opened 23 R&D labs across the country where they can work with designers and use 3D printers and industrial manufacturing equipment to make prototypes. Flex is developing smart shelves with Intel and crop-monitoring sensors with Farm2050, a food production consortium started with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.
“STEM without the “Arts” is just STEM. The “A” part is what gives us our culture—our soul. When you think about all the people around the world playing instruments, creating art, cooking (culinary arts), the arts helps connect us as humans. My passion with the “A” is that it helps us be inclusive in school and also promotes project-based learning. As a kid I was blessed to have a well-rounded education in the form of academic, athletic and artistic pursuits. My dad was a schoolteacher, athlete and musician, so I just expected that’s how it was. The “A” for the arts was so critical for me because it helped me see the connections between art, music, math and mechanical things. The fusion of thoughts and ideas in different areas really creates a holistic learning environment allowing one to fluidly move from one area to another.”
not quite…but being applied in many fields, as this McKinsey article showcases
“This past spring, contenders for the US National Basketball Association championship relied on the analytics of Second Spectrum, a California machine-learning start-up. By digitizing the past few seasons’ games, it has created predictive models that allow a coach to distinguish between, as CEO Rajiv Maheswaran puts it, “a bad shooter who takes good shots and a good shooter who takes bad shots”—and to adjust his decisions accordingly.
You can’t get more venerable or traditional than General Electric, the only member of the original Dow Jones Industrial Average still around after 119 years. GE already makes hundreds of millions of dollars by crunching the data it collects from deep-sea oil wells or jet engines to optimize performance, anticipate breakdowns, and streamline maintenance. But Colin Parris, who joined GE Software from IBM late last year as vice president of software research, believes that continued advances in data-processing power, sensors, and predictive algorithms will soon give his company the same sharpness of insight into the individual vagaries of a jet engine that Google has into the online behavior of a 24-year-old netizen from West Hollywood.”
China has been installing more renewable-power capacity than fossil fuels for several years, a gap that's growing. In 2015, China will install 15 gigawatts to 18 gw of solar power alone, double the solar deployment in the U.S., according to an analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).
The chart below shows how, in the next 15 years, China is on track to have more low-carbon electricity than the entire capacity of the U.S. power grid. "Think of what their grid will look like in 2030," Michael Liebreich, founder of BNEF, said at the organization's annual summit last week in New York. "A very competitive advantage."
With full-time chefs and other pros giving demos, Pirch (see video below) encourages customers to linger in its eight expansive showrooms. The carefully trained technicians deliver and install products and perform long-term warranty work, making them the first—and only—ones to call if you have a problem.
Waterworks is known for its luxury bathroom fixtures sold in 15 stand-alone showrooms (and other locations) and by more than 60 partners. The company entered the kitchen-design market last year with an all-kitchen showroom and kitchen sections in three existing showrooms.
Fullpower built the lab about a decade ago to capture data from sleep patterns. Of course, test subjects don’t typically snooze deeply with wires glued to their skulls, chests, legs, and arms. But almost everyone manages to at least nod off for a while, and the data that subjects generate are valuable and often surprising. “What we found early on is that sometimes you sleep less and feel more refreshed,” Kahn says. “It’s because you woke up in the light part of the sleep cycle.” The insight led him to develop a sleep-cycle alarm that could determine the best time to alert a person within a certain window. “Sometimes it’s better to get up at 10 of seven than at seven,” he says.
Researchers are discovering that each of us walks around with 1.5 gal. (5.7 L) of what may be the most sophisticated and revealing diagnostic available. Each drop teems with data, not just about your current state of health but also about what your future might hold.
The breadth of blood-detectable conditions is exploding thanks to the latest technologies. As doctors get better at understanding what goes wrong at the molecular level when we get sick, they can better pick out specific compounds in human plasma–the component that holds all the blood cells–that signal the first stages of trouble.
MyFord Touch was powered by a Microsoft operating system, but Ford is now using an OS from BlackBerry subsidiary QNX that already runs in-dash systems in Audis, BMWs, and Mercedes-Benzes, among others. In 2005, the system’s early days, a partnership with Microsoft was “completely obvious,” says Gary Jablonski, Ford’s manager of infotainment systems. “We wanted a big software company, lots of horsepower, connected to the consumer industry, connected to the phone industry.” The BlackBerry software, he says, will be more resistant to crashes of the PC variety. It turns out the kinds of bugs people will tolerate from their phones drive them crazy on the road.
Sync 3 aims to wipe the touchscreen clean with a far easier interface. “We really focused on trying to make a system that was the simplest to use for customers,” Jablonski says. That goal may sound obvious, but John Schneider, the project’s chief engineer, acknowledges that to justify the added cost, “We tried to pack a lot of features into MyFord Touch.”
There’s a shift under way in large organizations, one that puts design much closer to the center of the enterprise. But the shift isn’t about aesthetics. It’s about applying the principles of design to the way people work.
This new approach is in large part a response to the increasing complexity of modern technology and modern business. That complexity takes many forms. Sometimes software is at the center of a product and needs to be integrated with hardware (itself a complex task) and made intuitive and simple from the user’s point of view (another difficult challenge). Sometimes the problem being tackled is itself multi-faceted: Think about how much tougher it is to reinvent a health care delivery system than to design a shoe. And sometimes the business environment is so volatile that a company must experiment with multiple paths in order to survive.
Data based on more than a dozen studies published in peer-reviewed journals suggest that in healthy people, float therapy can be an effective relaxation technique. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. What’s yet to be determined is whether people who have psychiatric disorders, like depression, could gain therapeutic benefits from floating.
But researchers are actively seeking answers. One study published in the International Journal of Stress Management found that for a group of people with stress-related pain, flotation helped decrease anxiety and depression. Next year Feinstein plans to scan the brains of people with conditions like PTSD before and after they float. He expects to see a drop in activity in the brain areas that correlate with anxiety, which could bolster floating’s potential as a helpful treatment technique.
Economy class usually consists of uncomfortable cramped seats that follow a standard row format. But that's changing. Several airlines have introduced economy seats that can be converted to flat beds, and some have taken that even further.
Air New Zealand's Skycouch allows for a row of three economy seats to be converted into a flat bed, all with the push of a button.
The arms on the seats retract, while the seat base extends and seat belts lengthen to give you space for reclining. Up to two people can recline together by lying horizontally against the wall. It's been dubbed the "Cuddle Class," and comes at the standard price for each seat, and the third shared seat for half price.
Compared with a traditional loan application, Lending Club is blissfully easy. To qualify, borrowers need only an active bank account, a minimum FICO credit score of 660–the approximate subprime cutoff point–and at least three years of credit history. A proprietary underwriting algorithm approves or rejects the loan on the spot.
On the surface, lending might seem just as simple. Prospective backers can create a Lending Club account and fund it through a bank transfer. They can choose loans to fund individually or set parameters regarding loan size and risk and let Lending Club’s systems assign the funds automatically. But while it’s tempting to view that activity as lending–the natural flip side of borrowing–what’s actually going on is more complex. What lenders are really doing is investing: they’re putting their money in notes backed by the prospective repayment of loans. The sizes of the loans range from $1,000 to $35,000. Investors can buy notes in increments as small as $25–which means they can purchase small slices of lots of different loans, spreading the risk around.
It’s now commonplace for Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to turn their domiciles into startup incubators. Three years after Kenna started 20Mission, its 41 rooms are booked solid. A small room with a shared bathroom now runs $1,800 a month. Stays can last years but are typically a few months. Today every room has a door, and the front door unlocks with the tap of a smartphone. Rent is paid in cash, check, or Bitcoin. The Internet router takes up an entire closet. In the basement there’s a television studio, where residents produce a weekly Web program called Money & Tech.
What used to require a phone screening and an in-person, on-site interview is now accomplished with an initial video interview, reducing time to hire and improving hiring managers' ability to gauge the right fit, Malloy says. "You get a much better sense of who that candidate is using video rather than trying to guess based on their paper resume and a phone conversation. It also cuts down our time-to-hire, because video interviews are easier and less complicated to schedule -- no travel time, no coordinating with hiring managers' time off, or candidates existing work schedules," he says.
A video interview doesn't have to be done live, either, says Chris Brown, director of HR at unified communications firm InterCall, and head of human resources for InterCall's parent company, West Corporation. Candidates can record their own introduction video, attach it to the rest of their digital application, and have that entire package delivered to hiring managers and decision makers simultaneously.
“There are downside risks associated with shrinking workforces in some countries and/or productivity being impaired by: i) the rising average age of workforces; 2) insufficient competition in, or resource allocation to, or staff incentives in, education; 3) diversion of capital into financing old-age consumption rather than capital investment; 4) reluctance in western politics to roll back employment protection; and 5) rising inequality impeding growth in aggregate demand.
Upside risks include falling dependence on primary resources (e.g. oil) leading to a higher intangible element in wealth creation and a lower reliance on tradeables, which could reduce the scope for mercantilism. This should help to rebalance present global trade imbalances between surplus and deficit nations and tend to boost aggregate demand.”
Now, Los Angeles County, the largest voting jurisdiction in the U.S., has hired IDEO, a design company with roots in Silicon Valley, to overhaul how it serves up democracy. IDEO has developed a touchscreen system that incorporates features familiar to voters used to scrolling and tapping. Election administrators across the country are closely watching the experiment. They want to know if L.A. can solve the problem of American voting. “For a long time people muttered that somebody should do something about this,” says Doug Chapin, who runs the University of Minnesota’s Program for Excellence in Election Administration. “What Los Angeles County is doing is just that.”
My wife and I went to a Auguste Rodin exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal this past weekend. They had a marvelous collection of 300 of his iconic works in plaster, marble and bronze including the Prodigal Son, Eve and The Thinker.
The experience was enhanced by a mobile site accessed by the museum’s free wifi, with plenty of information on each of the sections of the exhibit and a chronology of his body of work.
I found it very thoughtful that they had a “Touching Rodin” section for the visually impaired. This had resin replicas meant to be touched and brochures in Braille. The room also had projections and a soundscape simulating Rodin’s studio designed by the SAT (Société des arts technologiques). You can only imagine how the tactile experience will improve with haptic gloves and other wearable technologies.
Finally, there was a stunning interpretation of various stages of unwrapping a Rodin sculpture by artist Adad Hannah. It is a nice representation of the protective wrapping and the masking tape that modern curators use to ship exhibits like this around the world – many in this case from the Musee Rodin in Paris.
“Yesterday, the appliance company launched an IndieGoGo campaign (yes, even a corporation with a $262 billion market cap can make use of crowdfunding) for its Opal Nugget Ice Maker, a countertop device that produces freezing cold crunchy crack. The campaign is less about raising money—GE’s got plenty of that—than about marketing the machine and soliciting feedback from interested consumers. And that feedback has been orgasmic. At the time of this writing, that Opal has raised half a million dollars from more than 1,300 people. Some people really love ice.
But GE already knew this. That’s why it built the Opal in the first place. A product of the company’s FirstBuild lab, the Opal was born after a message board suggestion led the company to dig further into this phenomenon. They found a subculture teeming with ice obsessives, both in and outside of the “Chew Belt.””
The Vacation movie series continues – this time with the next generation of the Griswolds (Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo, and old Walley World all have cameos).
It is a silly, silly movie, but the runaway winner is the Tartan Prancer van. It spoofs features in today’s cars (runs on gas, diesel AND electric, the key fob and the touch screen are incomprehensible, the cup holders are actually on the outside and ideal for tailgate parties, there are plenty of side mirrors perfect for taking selfies).
And it is mean on globalization – the van is supposedly Alabania’s proud export, the nav system barks menacingly in Korean, the promotional ad below makes fun of German announcers.
As an innovation author I loved all the jokes they poke on what all of us crave these days
Orbital Insight Inc. founder Crawford says he wants to create the “macroscope” that will alter the world as microscopes did centuries ago.
The Palo Alto, California, company uses advanced image processing and algorithms to track national and global trends. One product estimates sales at 60 U.S. retail and restaurant chains. Others generate a global poverty map and predict illegal deforestation by watching for road construction and other signs of logging.
Customers include hedge funds, banks, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 companies — “anyone who needs to understand the world at scale to make decisions,” said Crawford, who led the team that created the daily activity planners for NASA’s Mars rovers.
These images are a composite of oil storage facilities around the globe. Crude is stored in massive tanks whose capacity can be estimated from the shadows they cast. How much is stored can be gauged from the shadows on the interior lids, which move up and down based on the amount of oil in the tank.
By 2012, over 40 percent of the 80,000 streetlights in Detroit were not functioning, leaving the troubled city mired in darkness. To compound the problem, much of the grid relied on a series of outdated circuits—if one transformer went out, every light in the series went dark.
Flush with the resources needed to execute his vision, Jones’s team has outpaced expectations—the Authority is well over halfway to its goal of relighting the entire city, and has replaced more than 42,000 lights. Localized engineering studies have given the team the resources to discourage copper theft by switching to aluminum wiring, and the PLA is moving away from the faulty series circuit system. The new bulbs being installed are 150-watt equivalent LEDs—more energy efficient and two times brighter than the archaic high-pressure sodium bulbs they replace.
I had posted earlier about Israel’s desalination and water conservation success. Now California is trying the same – from Fortune
California, now in its fourth year of a devastating drought, may follow a similar trajectory. In April, Gov. Jerry Brown made a Ben Gurion–like plea, ordering state agencies to accelerate the use of cutting-edge technologies to bolster the water supply. That call turned into a tacit blessing for efforts like the Carlsbad Desalination Project, just north of San Diego, the largest desalination facility in the Western Hemisphere. The plant has been in the works for nearly two decades, with construction costs of $1 billion so far. After years of permit purgatory and lawsuits, it will finally go live this fall. By 2020 it is expected to provide upwards of 50 million gallons of fresh water daily, meeting about 10% of San Diego County’s water demand.
I am pleased to announce Amazon is taking Kindle eBook preorders for the sequel (click on the badge on left). My company is also taking bulk orders (50+ copies) for the print version. Amazon will offer print on demand for smaller batches when the book is out in early September.
Here is the high level description and attached below in PDF format is the pre-edited preface of the book with details on the chapters.
“In this fast-paced sequel to SAP Nation, author Vinnie Mirchandani updates many of the dimensions of the SAP economy, as big as that of Ireland. The context: In February 2015, SAP announced its next-generation ERP product, S/4HANA. Since then, SAP and its partners have relentlessly marketed the tag word "Simple."
When you factor in SAP's growing product portfolio (much acquired, but not integrated), the customizations and satellite applications at its 300,000 customers, and its ecosystem of 13,000 partners, a different word comes to mind: “Sprawl.”
Will S/4 reduce this sprawl? Will S/4 allow SAP to better compete in the cloud? Will the S/4 rollout mirror that of other next-gen enterprise products over the last two decades? How can customers protect themselves in an economy where new products often result in premiums and overruns?
Anyone with interest in SAP - as competitor, customer, employee, investor, partner - will benefit from pondering the questions in the book. Customers will also profit from its nine strategies to optimize environments on their own while they wait for the SAP promise of Simple.”
The pacemaker took its form in the 1960s. In the meantime, mobile phones were invented and went from the size of a briefcase to smaller than a deck of cards, and room-sized computers are relics compared to laptops no bigger than a magazine.
Medtronic started work on shrinking the device in 2009, with the goal of making it a 10th its existing size. More efficient electronics meant a smaller battery that can last at least 12 years, and putting the electrode directly on the mini-pacemaker eliminated wires.
They compared a number of varieties of roses, some exuding lots of scent and others producing none. They found that a protein called nudix hydrolase RhNUDX1 in the cytoplasm of petal cells was present in scent-producing flowers and absent in those with no smell. It turns out that the gene responsible for building the protein was turned on in scented flowers and turned off in the others. The group was able to conclude that RhNUDX1 encodes a key part of the pathway that produces the small volatile molecules, called monoterpenes, which make up 70 percent of some rose cultivars’ smell.
“We saw that every time this gene was expressed highly, the rose was making these monoterpene molecules,” she said. “We were really surprised about this.”
Along with the possibility of modifying the plant to make the smell-producing gene work again, the team’s work can also be used as a marker for breeders to tell them which cultivars will produce scented roses before they even grow flower buds.
Glamping is a term derived from the two words “glamourous camping”. Glamping is also referred to as “glam camping”, “lux camping”, “luxury camping” and many other similar phrases. Regardless of the specific terminology, the idea is the same. Glamping brings the world of luxury into nature in the most seamless way possible.
The Safety Truck consists of a wireless camera attached to the front of the truck, which is connected to a video wall made out of four exterior monitors located on the back of the truck. The monitors give drivers behind the truck a view of what is going on ahead, even in the dark of night.
This allows drivers to have a better view when deciding whether it is safe to overtake. Another advantage of the Safety Truck is that it may reduce the risk of accidents caused by sudden braking or animals crossing the road.
The first two-thirds of the cyber analysis course consist of mundane but essential subjects meant to help students understand the making and breaking of computer systems. These include math, basic programming, Windows and Unix operating systems, and the science behind networks and wireless technologies. Then students move on to the fundamentals of hacking: target research, signal analysis, network defense, and malware. They learn to hack a simulated network with open source software and tools such as Metasploit. The curriculum is adjusted to keep pace with advances in both offensive and defensive tactics, an unusual challenge for the military, says Maureen Fox, CID’s commanding officer. “Missile technology changes, but it doesn’t change in a day or an hour,” she says. “The technology in the area we’re in does.”
BusinessWeek in a story on US Navy’s Corry Station base in Pensacola, FL
“Earlier this year, the US Army announced the three finalists for a massive contract to replace the iconic Humvee, which has been in service for almost three decades.
Oshkosh Corporation, defense contractor Lockheed Martin, and Humvee-maker AM General each delivered 22 prototypes to military evaluators, who are running elaborate tests on the vehicles to determine the best fit. “
“It was deployed to the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan, where US commanders quickly discovered that it was dangerously under equipped to protect troops against close-combat urban fire and improvised explosive devices.
With this problem in mind, the vehicles in this summer's competition are all far more resistant to explosive blasts. The new vehicles are smaller, so they can be more easily airlifted and transported. They're also light and better equipped to deal with the urban and off-road patrol duties that the humvee took on in Afghanistan and Iraq. “
Kansas City-based architecture firm Populous is helping baseball maintain its cultural relevance. After the new Braves stadium opens in 2017, Populous will have designed 20 of the 30 active MLB stadiums, while being heavily involved in the renovation of five others. Starting with the construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1992, the company revolutionized not just how stadiums are built—with closer seating and architecture unique to the characteristics of the ballpark’s home city—but how the game is marketed to fans. No longer would going to the ballpark be just about baseball: now fans could expect there to be games for kids to play, bars where young adults can congregate, and a slew of other entertainment options in the stadium’s immediate vicinity.
“The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport in northern Queens, estimates the overhaul will cost about $4 billion, most of which will go toward tearing down the Central Terminal Building, rebuilding it in place and augmenting it with a grand entry way.”
It’s been a short five years since I wrote The New Polymath. It is impressive how digital the construction of each successive book has become. Earlier this year I had posted about the Kindle publishing process, print on demand technologies and the contribution of the design agency around SAP Nation.
With SAP Nation 2.0, the digitization has increased
Majority of interviews around the world have been done using Vonage or Skype on a Zoom recorder and stored on Google Drive for later transcription.
The interactions with the editor and graphic designer, both in the Northeast have been via email.
The proofreader comments and my acceptance/rejection and my own additions have used Adobe Acrobat features
I have polled my Facebook friends for advice on thorny grammatical style issues. Amazing how quickly they have responded
My interactions with the design agency, 1106 have used a collaboration tool, Wrike.
The irony – most of my books still sell in paper format
No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends, was written by McKinsey directors Richard Dobbs, James Manyika, and Jonathan Woetzel, and offers insight into which developments will have the greatest impact on the business world in coming decades. Below, we’re recapping their list of the “Disruptive Dozen”—the technologies the group believes have the greatest potential to remake today’s business landscape.
WorldWide Telescope was designed with rich interactivity in mind. Guided Tours, which are especially popular among educators and astronomy enthusiasts, offer scripted paths through the 3D environment, enabling users to view and create media-rich interactive stories about anything from star formation to the discovery of the large-scale structure of the universe.
Jet's consumer proposition is as simple as its algorithms are complex: Spend $50 a year for a membership and you get the Web's lowest prices on 10 million-plus goods.
Here's how Jet works. As you add items to your basket, a discount tally starts accruing. The more you add, the bigger the discount, aided by specific choices such as opting out of a product return (a cost that Lore says is built into most shipped goods) and non-credit card payments (debit cards and linked checking accounts cut your final bill).
Lore's real-time trading reference speaks to the system's ability to adjust your discount based in part on where suppliers are. The closer the supplier, the lower the price. It gets Lore thinking about a bottle of ketchup.
A host of new companies founded or staffed by brain researchers have some advice for advertisers: Read your customers’ minds. In a world of ever-shrinking attention spans, where consumers flit through social media sites and skip right past online ads, advertisers are turning to neuroscience to better understand how to steer buyers toward their products.
“People are not governed by the rational side of their brains, so the majority of purchase decisions are made irrationally,” says Itiel Dror, a Harvard-trained neuroscientist engaged by London consultants BrandOpus to test the redesign of a logo for Canada’s McCain Foods Ltd.
The Droplet has something that you don’t—access to real-time data from over 10,000 weather stations, millions of square miles of U.S. soil samples, and comprehensive biological plant information. With all of that goodness, it can decide when, where and how much water to deliver to your lawn. It even knows the proper angle in which to deliver it. The idea is that this type of system can actually conserve water. It can even produce reports on water consumption. Just hook the sprinkler up to a garden hose, power it, and connect the system to your existing WiFi network. You also need to input the types of plants in your yard and where they are located. If you’re even too lazy for that, you can opt to water the entire lawn. It has a range of 30 feet or 2,700 square feet for normal watering, 50 feet or 9,000 square feet for high-pressure watering, and several hundred feet for agriculture watering.
Most of the about 3 million ATMs installed worldwide contain computers that complete most tasks independently instead of getting their commands from a data center. Their owners have to dispatch a technician every time they want to make a major change to the operating system or add a new feature. Only 15 percent to 20 percent of the world’s leading banks have begun connecting their ATMs to the cloud, according to Wincor Nixdorf, a German ATM manufacturer.
NCR’s sales pitch to banks is that its Cx110 and companion Kalpana cloud management software can slash the costs of running an ATM by up to 40 percent. A company with 100 ATMs could see savings of as much as $800,000 a year, NCR estimates. Because cloud-connected machines can be monitored more closely, it will be easier for banks to manage their networks. Says Robert Johnston, marketing director for ATM software at NCR: “There’s less of a chance an ATM will run out of cash.”
Automobile magazine has 23 reasons why the 2016 7 series is mind blowing in many ways
Here’s just one
A key fob with a color touchscreen (above) allows owners to remotely drive the 2016 BMW 7 Series forward into a garage or narrow parking space and then reverse it out. The system currently works only with forward parking and cannot reverse into a space remotely. U.S. laws prohibit this feature because regulations require the brake pedal to be physically depressed to shift a car out of park. However, BMW is petitioning the U.S. government for a workaround and will offer remote parking here as soon as it is legal.
Entering the US is becoming more digital – and hopefully quicker than waiting in line for Customs and Border Projection officers, thanks to three initiatives:
Global Entry – which requires a fee and a background check, but also qualifies you for a Trusted Traveler number and TSA precheck privileges at most US airports
Automated Passport Control Kiosk – which are free to use and do not need pre-registration, and does away with the paper customs form. It’s available to US and Canadian citizens and those from countries which qualify for Visa Waiver
The Mobile Passport app which can be used today at 4 US airports. You set up your profile with passport and other details and transmit that when you land and get an encrypted barcode to scan at the express lane
I saw a remarkable phenomenon yesterday. Cars were lined up waiting to be served by a mobile truck. The latest foodie craze? Kids lined up on a hot day for Kona Ice?
Actually, they were folks lining up with crates of paper to be shredded. The line was at least 20 cars deep. In an age of identity theft and other privacy concerns, Cam Caudle, owner of the Shred360 truck reports heightened interest in his paper and e-waste disposal services.
I got in touch with him because I had a couple of crates of book drafts I needed disposing. That was too small a job for him to drive the truck to us (he services a wide swath across Tampa Bay) so he told me about “shred day”. As a community service, this army veteran periodically drives the truck to a parking lot and shreds limited quantities for free. He would not even accept a donation for the job.
I asked him about his Alpine Evolution truck, and it is one heck of a high-torque engineering marvel. Features include planetary gears, precision-made solid steel shaft, the cameras to allow consumers to watch the shredding process, the robotic arms to lift the carts, a backup camera and numerous other safety features. Some of the bigger trucks can churn through 9,000 lbs of paper an hour. Many of the Alpine trucks now also have a hard drive shredder – up to 10 hard drives chomped up a minute! The video below provides more details.
Back home, I could not help but hum the Monster Mash and mock my poor, little 10 page-at-a-time shredder
If you are local call Cam for your shredding needs or try out one of the growing mobile shredding services in your town.