Space is running out of space ;-)

Humans have put 8,378 objects put into space since the first Sputnik in 1957 and at the beginning of 2019 4,987 satellites were still up there, and 1957 are operational. From 1964to 2012 roughly 131 satellites were launched every year. In 2017 453 satellites were launched in space. In 2018, the number fell to 382. But 5200 are planned over the next four years and another 9,300 thereafter. That’s 15,000 satellites. First, wow…. how far have we come where the cost of launching a bird is so cheap now. Secondly, the unintended consequences of these many birds are going to be pretty substabtial. No one should be surprised if some complications develop overhead and cause problems down on the planet.

Tesla’s SolarCity gamble has gone wrong

“If he hadn’t bailed out SolarCity, his whole debt-laden empire might have cracked. Yet without the bailout, Tesla would be far more healthy….In the second quarter of this year, SolarCity installed only 29 megawatts of solar panels—far below the 10,000 megawatts in annual installations that Musk had promised.”

Vanity Fair

Bethany Mclean who made her name writing about Enron long before others is explaining the challenge faced by Tesla and Elon Musk due to the 2016 SolarCity acquisition. The much ballyhooed Solar Roof is a flop, and the whole thing seems to be coming apart at seams. Worth a read from a reporter, who has a habit of finding big stories before others.

Juul, despite all its protestations and whitewashing in the media, is no better than old fashioned tobacco companies. It is selling addictive products that are killing people and are going to have long term health effects. They have caused a full-blown teen vaping epidemic, thanks to their marketing efforts. And finally, the FDA is waking up and admitting that these guys have been engaged in false and misleading advertising. In other words, just like the old tobacco guys. You very well know where I stand on this company and its peers.

Smartwatch Sales Are Booming

“U.S. sales of smartwatches are booming,” notes Hodinkee. “They rose 24% in value in the U.S. for the first half of 2019 versus the same period in 2018.” NPD estimated 2018 smartwatch sales at $5 billion.  Apple, Samsung and Fitbit are leading the charge, and now are on the top five best-selling watch brands in the US. The other two: Rolex and Patek Philippe. NPD estimates that Apple, Fitbit, and Samsung accounted for 88% of smartwatch unit sales in the U.S. in 2018. “The ability to be truly connected via built-in LTE without the need to have a smartphone nearby proved to be a tipping point for consumers,” NPD’s Weston Henderek said. IDC, another research firm predicts that global smartwatch shipments will tip 91.8 million in 2019.