- Designing a better toilet has more to do with overcoming human behavior and social norms than engineering challenges.
- The smart home is looking haunted: after a glitch that caused temperatures to go haywire in a bunch of homes, andan ultra-creepy hacker used a connected camera to spy on and harass a child. IoT companies looking to play in the consumer game need to double down on security and reliability instead of pushing out more products and more features.
- News of mass lead poisoning from tap water in Flint Michigan is a tough reminder that a spoiled environment persists long after the economic gains from corner-cutting industrial production is gone. Electronics often contain a surprising amount of lead (along with many other dangerous but less notorious substances)- finally some consumer electronics companies are making real strides to reduce or remove some of the nasty inputs to their products.
- General Electric, one of the biggest names in building things, is moving their headquarters to Boston. Depending on who you ask, this has everything to do with taxes, or it has everything to do with Boston being an innovation hub for the sectors that GE needs to keep winning at like medical and industrial tech.
- An interesting read on GM working hard to build the best electric cars and battery technology to pull ahead of Tesla.
Up in the air:
- NASA is lending a helping hand in aerodynamic engineering, hoping to spur their private counterparts into squandering less fuel and reducing emissions.
- Who has rights to the space above your property? There's no straightforward answer, and a recent case of a man shooting a drone out of the sky over his land is bringing new complexity to the question.
More next week.