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Monthly Archives: September 2015

Sustain Weekly Newsletter-28Sep2015

By | Sustain | No Comments

A weekly sustainable tech newsletter from a standing desk. – September 28, 2015

Here are the top sustainability news I found interesting this week

  1. Super-porous molecular structures known as covalent organic frameworks can convert Carbon dioxide (CO2) to carbon monoxide (CO), creating opportunities to make stuff like fuel, plastics and pharmaceuticals. Carbon capture for useful products is not solved yet, but looks feasible.
  2. A self-tracking experiment to fix the pollen allergy. How a man tracked five years of sneezes to solve this
  3. Sweden wants to become the World’s first fossil fuel-free nation. Investments in photovoltaics, electricity storage research, smart grids, energy efficient residential buildings and climate-related projects in developing countries. No stated deadline yet.

The Turners

  1. What is Daraprim and Turing Pharmaceuticals? The overnight increase in drug prices (5000% increase $13.50 to $750) that raised protests.
  2. Volkswagon and the Diesel Deception. 11 million cars diesel cars were equipped with software that could cheat on emissions tests. Emission scandal explained.

In Tech News

  1. Singapore launched a new 3D printing cluster. Part of $140 million (USD) Innovation cluster program, which in turn is part of $11 billion (USD) research and innovation enterprise plan (.pdf).
  2. Facebook renamed its internet.org to Free Basics. Sounds like a range of worn out Levi’s jeans.
  3. Not much to comment on Modi’s Silicon Valley visit, Facebook Townhall, and #DigitalIndia. Similar to Lincoln in Gettysburg, Modi established that the internet is of the people, by the people for the people. But which people? People who signed the net neutrality petition changed their display pictures today. Those who did, check this out.

Start you up (week’s start-up stories and insights)

  1. The Han Solo Delusion for startups explained by serial entrepreneur and investor Jason Calacanis. Do you have what it takes?
  2. “Avoiding opulent perks may be the best thing you can to improve your start-up” – @StartLJackson, a Twitter parody account that is seemingly growing in popularity (>60K followers). Here is Startup L. Jackson AMA on ProductHunt.
  3. Rocket Internet is leaving India. Plans to sell its top companies. This follows a series of events at Foodpanda, covered in the last newsletter.
  4. Jason Fried, founder of Basecamp and author of Rework (one of my favorite books) writes about why it’s important to give 5 minutes before rubbishing an idea.

Learn today

What are ZNE homes?
ZNE homes are zero net energy homes. These homes have zero net energy consumption,which means that the amount of energy used by the building is equal to amount of renewal energy created there. Are ZNE homes feasible? – Here’s a case study


  • How to know about food recalls instantly. Here is the alert list.
Did you know?

Did you see?

Open Thought
There are 4 pillars to do good market research: 1) Use sound methodology 2) Identify the correct sample and report the results 3) State assumptions and don’t use broad generalizations 4) Continuously measure changing market perceptions

News @Arcluster 
Arcluster research‘s upcoming report reveals trends and analysis on the intersection of Autonomous Tech and AgTech, covering the green data revolution. One more week for the first published study. Subscribe to our media alerts to be informed. You can also follow us on twitter @arcluster for latest news from the company.

Folks, that’s it for the week update. Good week ahead!

Sustain Weekly Newsletter-21Sep2015

By | Sustain | No Comments


A weekly sustainable tech newsletter from a standing desk.

Here are the top sustainability news I found interesting this week

  1. California company Bolt Threads, has figured out how to use genetic engineering to make synthetic spider silk. Synthetic biology used to engineer silk proteins that can be spun into fibers.
  2. McDonalds will phase out the use of eggs from hens housed in cages. It uses 2 billion shell and liquid eggs every year. With soon to be launched (Oct 6) All-day breakfast and US’s cage-free hen eggs being only 10% of the overall eggs produced. It will take roughly 10 years to do this.
  3. Dutch designer and his team have developed the world’s largest smog sucking vacuum, a 7 metre tall air purifier tower that sucks smog through the top and releases clean air through its six sides. Here are his other projects.
  4. Lego is spending $150 million it promised to develop sustainable materials for its plastic Lego toys. Hired 100+ staff in its new sustainable materials center in Billund, Denmark.
  5. The pairing of photovoltaic cells and conductive polymer films (PEDOT) results in a hybrid solar cell that generates 5X voltage of existing technology. Still an expensive option. More adoption, less cost.

In Tech News

  1. Amazon founder plans a rocket plant and launch pad at Florida. Bezos’s space start-up Blue Origin competes with Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Here is the launch video of the new Shepard rocket.
  2. Ad Blocking – What you need to know: Everything explained. Read time: ~12 mins.
  3. San Francisco’s luxury bus service Leap Transit has filed for bankruptcy. Last few buses are being auctioned. Bids starting at $5 and ending Oct 8.
  4. A hedge fund manager thinks Alibaba might be a fraud. Says delivery figures seemed fishy.

Start you up (week’s start-up stories and insights)

  1. Ben Horowitz’s latest advice for startups. I liked his ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things‘ book. A solid yet breezy read on lessons from his entrepreneurial journey.
  2. Foodpanda’s trouble and the story of it’s mismanagement in India.
  3. Harish Chawla‘s advice on how you’re one cohort away from failure is a must read.
  4. Read, understand and know how to convert ESOPs for start-up employee. *numbers in INR.
  5. Jabong, the fashion ecom player, is up for sale. Valuation between $500 and $800 million. AB Kinnevik, the Swedish Investment Company and shareholder in Jabong’s parent Global Fashion Group, is looking for a suitor. Maybe Paytm

Learn today

What is Farecasting?
Farecasting is predicting the best date to buy a ticket. Farecasting tools such as Flyr,Skypicker and Hopper help travelers to decide whether to buy tickets now or later. Not to be confused with flight booking apps such as hotwire.


How to get a bartender’s attention in a crowded bar. Smile, wait, Tip. Don’t snap, whistle or wave

Did you know

  1. Facebook is soon launching a sort of a ‘dislike’ button. Maybe not a thumbs down button buy an alternate symbolization for sad news or empathy.
  2. A bunch of guys made a 7-mile scale version of the solar system in the Nevada desert. Here is the link to the Video.
  3. In other egg news, a scientist who un-boiled an egg gets an IG Nobel prize
  4. Netherlands just banned the use of animals in circus. So far, nine countries in the Europe have complete bans.
  5. A cosmic mega collision of two super massive black holes is happening soon (soon = 100,000 years) at 3.5 billion light years away, in the Virgo constellation. Destructive gravitational waves through space-time will up-heave nearby stars and planets, with the energy equivalent of 100 million supernova explosions.
  6. Ahmed Mohamed, the 14 year old boy who got arrested for bringing a clock to school, gets invite for visit to Facebook, Box, White House etc. Also, Microsoft gave him a bunch of stuff – Surface Pro 3, a Microsoft Band, a 3D printer etc. No Xbox for the kid though

Open Thought
If you’re an average company doing average work, your customer will find someone cheaper

News @Arcluster 
Arcluster research tracks five primary themes across micro emerging trends: Autonomous Tech, Energy Innovations, Internet of Things, FoodTech and AgTech, and Health Tech. Subscribe to our media alerts to be informed. You can also follow us on twitter @arcluster for latest news from the company.

Sustain Weekly Newsletter – 14 September 2015

By | Sustain | 1,229 Comments


Here are the top sustainability news I found interesting this week

  1. A new vertical farming system produces 10x more yield compared to traditional farms. Sky Greens, a Singapore company became the world’s first hydraulic-driven vertical farm, housing 1000 vertical farming towers producing 1700 lbs of Asian vegetables such as Chinese cabbage.

  2. Silicon Valley start-up Hampton Creek is being forced to remove ‘mayo’ from its ‘Just Mayo’ vegan plant-based mayo product. The base of the lawsuit is if it isn’t based on eggs, it isn’t Mayo. What you need to know: Eggs are a $5.5 billion industry. Egg-based Mayo is $2 billion a year. Mayo is the number 1 American condiment. Lobbying.

  3. Artificial Photosynthesis might graduate from a lab into a more commercially viable way to generate hydrogen fuel that can be used for powering vehicles and storing electricity. The ‘Artificial Leaf’ technology uses sun’s energy to split water into Hydrogen and Oxygen. Multiple artificial leaf technologies are in development towards developing a more continuous form of energy supply better than solar energy, which is sometimes discontinuous.

  4. A 3D printed ribcage from titanium sternum has been implanted into patient from Spain. 3D printing parts help in a more cutsomized implant. Here is the video of the process.

  5. 14 month timeframe for all gas stations in Russia to have electric vehicle chargers. The move towards EV charges is to reduce the dependence on its Oil industry and to counter falling energy prices. Basic EV chargers cost ~<$1500 and takes 9 hours to charge a single car battery. Expect Gas stations get these basic electric charges.

In Tech News

  1. Apple launched a bunch of upgrades: Iphone 6S, Iphone 6S Plus, Apple TV, iPad Pro, Apple Pencil. Yah, pencil and apparently not to be called stylus. There is a joke circulating about ‘work’ tablet Ipad pro being 3 years later than Microsoft Surface. Wall Street happy with Apple.
  2. Elon Musk wants to Nuke Mars (the planet) to make it livable. Then he says he’s just laying out options. Makes you wonder if he’s super hero or super villain.
  3. Uber invested another $5.5 M into the CMU Robotics facility for autonomous care R&D. They had already poached a bunch (40) of researchers earlier, which left CMU flushed. Tech appeasement in play.
Learn today

What is Glamping?

Glamping is to go camping, but with glamour. The sites are called Glampsites. Costs vary between $150 to $5000 per site.Think of it as a engineered weekend camping getaway with luxurious bath, designer colors, climate control and artificial rain sounds.

Did you know?
  • Hangry is now officially a word in the OED. It means being hungry and angry at the same time. Scrabble folks, be prepared.
  • Scientists bring back to life a 30,000 year old virus from the Serbian Wastelands to learn about what the permafrost can cause? Permafrost is permanently frozen soil at high latitudes.
  • A different set of scientists discovered a ‘Super-Henge’, 2 miles away and 12 times bigger than the Stone Henge. The stones were discovered without excavation, with the help of non-invasive geophysical prospection and remote sensing technologies.
  • Flowers are losing their scent molecules due to the ground-level ozone. Therefore, Bees are losing their scent cues to locate plants and are now facing survival challenges.

Open Thought
Traditionally, marketing was about creating and capitalizing perceptions. Measuring it in real time has become a critical element between these two stages and will merge into market research in the future.

News @Arcluster 
Arcluster is now arithmetically a year older and analytically a bit wiser. Most of the year was spent on gearing up research techniques and methodologies that deliver better business value to clients.

That’s it for last week folks. Good week ahead.