When Buying Medical Supplies from China…

James Seng, a long time Internet expert, and investor based in Singapore, has published three informative posts on how to buy medical supplies from China. I have known of Seng and his work, and he has deep connections in China, and his three-part series can be beneficial to those seeking medical supplies. This includes a primer on buying KN95 masks, ventilators, and surgical masks. Here are some key takeaways from his posts:

– Only buy KN95 GB 19083 FFP2 masks for frontline doctors and nurses. Others are pretty useless in medical facilities.
– There is a short supply of ventilators and it might take a couple of months to get these delivered.
– “For your own personal use, buy this mask is sufficient. It is cheap and comfortable,” Seng suggests. “Ask for a medical mask with YY-0969-2013 standard.”

Do hand sanitizers help prevent infections?

The actual chemistry of hand sanitizers is what really helps define if they are effective against infections. If they have key ingredients such as types of alcohol (about 60 percent at least), chlorhexidine, and benzalkonium chloride – then they are effective at fighting off viruses and bacteria. So check the components of the hand sanitizers you buy. And as long as you use it liberally – a palmful — and cover all parts of your hand and keep using it as often as possible.

Read article on CompoundChem

Snap & Climate Change: Is there a link?

Snapchat announced that in 2018 an average of 3 billion snaps were sent every day. A single snap produces 0.1g of CO2 meaning that in just 24 hours Snapchat generates the carbon equivalent of 1 car driving for 54 years. This is, of course, microscopic in comparison to carbon emissions generated by the aviation industry or agriculture – but it’s not nothing. Joe Hearty, R/GA London Experience Design Director argues that we have underestimated the impact of digital on climate change and it is only going to increase. Check.

A new (tech) front in US-China​ Trade war?

“Firms such as Huawei, Tencent, ZTE, Alibaba, and Baidu have no meaningful ability to tell the Chinese Communist Party “no” if officials decide to ask for their assistance,” said Christopher Ashley Ford, assistant secretary in the State Department’s bureau of international security and nonproliferation. His speech is another shot across the bow in the US-China trade war. What I am surprised is that there is no mention of DJI, which just might be the biggest eye in the sky for China. The Information has the analysis, but the speech transcript removes all ambiguity about how US is thinking about Chinese technology.

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.

Read article on Pots & Pans

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.

Read article on Bethany Mclean

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.

Read article on Hodinkee

An AI to save cats

Only 500 leopard wild cats survive in the almost urban jungle of Taiwan and are on the verge of extinction. In order to protect the endangered species, DT42, a Taiwan-based deep learning startup is using AI (in collaboration with Taiwan’s Directorate General of Highways) to “detect leopard cats when they near roads and keep them out of harm’s way, reducing roadkills.” Just a reminder that while we can fear AI, it can come in handy.

Read article on Nvidia Blog