- The dubious design solutions to the problem of noise in workplaces, especially open plan offices.
- Many brilliant designs and inventions came from enslaved people in the Americas, but the rights to those designs were often stolen by slaveowners or fell in a legal no-man's land.
- A post from Bolt's Ben Einstein on so-called predicate companies, or companies that provide evidence for a template of consumer behavior. While Einstein places the indicators at the company level, really it's a larger question of how culture as a whole (commercial or not) is changing.
- While DIY firearms are not new, the mix of precise, low-skill digital fabrication tools and the increasing pressure to regulate the gun industry in the face of seemingly endless tragedies has created a hot market for weapon-building systems, and legislators are scrambling to draft laws that could address the risks of a more diffuse firearm production system.
- LEGO has been on campaign for shifting to bioplastics for some time now, with a goal of ditching petroleum-derived ABS completely by 2030. They recently announced that parts being produced now are 1-2% sugarcane derived polyethylene. It's not exactly an impressive percentage, but given the scale of LEGO, it will still have a significant impact.
- The Minnesota legislature is working on crafting policy that would require electronics manufacturers to make replacement parts available. While such policies would create some pains for consumer electronics manufacturers, the positive outcomes will be more circular markets and efficient, thoughtfully designed products. Supporting many generations of product is a huge challenge from a logistics and manufacturing standpoint (tooling gets retired, storing inventory is costly), but the falling cost of producing parts on-demand through additive methods could help to address those pains in the not-too-distant future. A quick search of the 3D printing service bureau/store Shapeways demonstrates that consumers have a desire to repair and replace broken parts on their products, but few companies behind the original products do much of anything to support that behavior.
- Amazon's willingness to play host to sellers large and small means the platform struggles with counterfeit goods more than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. The company featured in that article goes further in their language, saying that Amazon is complicit in the trade of counterfeit goods because of their policy choices.