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Monthly Archives: October 2015

Sustain Weekly Newsletter-26ct2015

By | Sustain | No Comments

SUSTAIN WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

A weekly sustainable tech newsletter from a standing desk. – Oct 26, 2015

Here are the top sustainability news I found interesting this week

  • Italian scientists have made a bio refinery that can squeeze a lot of chemicals from mounts of grape waste. Last year, 28 billion lts. of wine produced left behind 5 million tons of waste!
  • AjarTech, a Chicago company has developed a large compressed earth brick press, which they call ‘Liberator’ that can transform dirt into durable building bricks. The company is raising funds (~$20,000) on Kickstarter to get the machine out.
  • A dewatering comapny, IMS, has launched a reusable dredge dewatering technology called GeoPool that doesn’t require polymers. Basically, for excavation activity that is at least partly underwater (dredging), dewatering is the biggest challenge for dredging. This way it’s cheaper and doesn’t use expensive geotextile bags.

Turners

  • Do you remember Turing Pharmaceuticals, which hiked the price of its drug Darapim from $13.50 to $750 overnight and irked the public? Its competitor Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego company, has announced a cheaper alternative to Darapim at $99 for a 100-pill supply.Basically $1 a pill a day. Here is what you need to know about Daraprim. Its active ingredient is pyrimethamine, which helps in treating parasitic diseases. Turing was the sole source of this pyrimethamine-based drug, which is prescribed to AIDS and cancer patients with compromised immune systems.

In Tech News

  • Amazon made $2.1 billion in the third quarter through Amazon Web Services (AWS);revenues from cloud at $7B for this year. AWS made almost as much operating income as its ecommerce operations in North America. Just shows how hard this ecommerce game is. Lot more consolidation will happen in emerging markets, once the funds dry up.
  • Alphabet is going to bet more on riskier projects. Billions. Basically, more money into self-driving cars, fiber, energy etc. Try googling Alphabet and the first two results are on the company and the third are the letters. That’s how easy it is for Google in the search business
  • Microsoft is partnering with Swiss ABB to offer new electric car charging platform. For its Azure cloud platform. Kind of being a first mover in the space. Don’t remember the time Microsoft launched anything early in the market.

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

  • Zomato is laying off 300 employees to save money and look for other pivots. The last pivot didn’t work. I expect more layoffs, shut downs and cash flow crunches in the food ordering and delivery scene.

Learn today

What is a GEEN?
GEEN is genome editing with engineered nucleases or gene editing, a type of genetic engineering, in which a DNA is inserted, replaced or removed from a genome, using artificially engineered nucleases, or molecular scissors. It is usually done to understand the function of a gene or a protein to monitor its effects on the organism.

Know 
  • How to boil an egg? Bring water to a boil, gently lower your eggs into the water and let them cook for 30 seconds. Then add ice to lower the temperature, let the water boil up again, and cook for 11 minutes at about 88°C/190°F.
Did you know?
  • China is building a wall again. But this time, it’s a 4,500 km green wall with 100 billion treesalong the northern part of China’s deserts. Some are criticizing this aggressive rush to plant. It’s not clear how sustainable these trees are or what the mortality rate of planted trees will be, being so close to the Gobi desert.
  • A commercial fisherman who admitted to once pillaging the oceans has won the 2015 Fuller Challenge ($100,000) for a 3D ocean farming model that grows restorative crops, such as seaweed and shellfish.
  • Dragonflies catch 95% of their targeted prey. That’s amazing precision. They anticipate the trajectory of a moving target and automatically adjust flight patterns. They are nature’s dronesand eat 100’s of mosquitoes every day. I am a big fan of their work. Enemy’s enemy you know!
  • You shouldn’t hang around lazy sleepy crocodiles. They sleep with one eye open and half their brain awake.
  • The microbeads in your facewash, scrubs, sanitizers and soaps are actually tiny pieces of plastic. Yah, they remove old dead stuff from the skin, but once they drain, they pass through all the water treatment facilities, and end up polluting the ocean. Fish, mammals and birds eat them and they come back cancerous up the food chain. So, if you’re fish eating and fairness conscious, life might come a circle.
  • A messy desk might make you less boring and more creative than neat clean freaks, a study claims. Its fine, be boring but keep things clean.
  • The cost of a burger from lab grown meat now costs $11.36. In 2013, it was $325,000. Wait till 2020 and it might get affordable and on your plate. Made from real beef stem cells.
  • Oslo is becoming car free. The city will add 60 km of bicycle lanes by 2019.
  • Researchers found carbon nanotubes in the lungs of children diagnosed with asthma. Study conducted in Paris. Pollution might be the key reason for the presence of these particles. These nanotubes may allow other pollutants to attach and become embedded in lung tissue. More work needed in this area to know for sure if they are cancer causing.
  • A team of scientists in China created the world’s first gene-edited dogs. Basically, they edited the gene of beagles and removed the muscle-inhibiting protein called myostatin. These dogs are twice muscular and can run faster.
  • This rare kind of mutation naturally occurs in another dog breed – Whippets, a sighthound breed that looks like a smaller greyhound. The mutation makes the dog grow enormous muscles. They are called Bully Whippets and look like a hulk version of the breed. Here is a story of Wendy, a bully whippet.

Did you see?

Did you watch?

  • The 4 min Hans Rosling video on Income-Life in 200 countries 200 years. Brilliant. Don’t miss.
  • The dramatic change of the atmosphere on a faraway planet caused by a violent stellar flare. 63 lights years away. 6 min video
  • 1 min video of the environment friendly Bogobrush made in the USA.  The biodegradable handle is made by mixing plant-based bioplastic and leftover plant material from American farms.

Open Thought
Overgrown muscles aren’t necessarily a great thing. When myostatin mutated dogs keep running, it might cause massive cramping and is a threat to its survival. So, it might look like the nature’s way of showing that although some are stronger, they don’t necessarily last longer. Survival of the fittest doesn’t mean survival of the strongest. Diversity exists because some dominant homozygous species don’t last. Not everything will move towards maximum fitness every time.

News @Arcluster 
Arcluster is excited to announce the publication of its first internally funded market study on theAgricultural Drones Market (2015 – 2020). The report hosts a wealth of information on the evolving market dynamics of drone adoption, market size and forecast estimates and end user perspectives. The report can be procured off our online research store or through one of our reseller partners. Check out the report here. Follow us on twitter @arcluster for latest news from the company.

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

Sustain Weekly Newsletter-19Oct2015

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SUSTAIN WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

A weekly sustainable tech newsletter from a standing desk. – Oct 19, 2015

Here are the top sustainability news I found interesting this week

  • Singapore government is planning to test a self-driving transit by end of 2016. Another week, another future tech news from Singapore. Vertical farms, delivery drones and now autonomous cars. What could be the next for pilot testing? Nano architecture maybe!
  • Tesla launched an OTA autopilot software update to its cars. Here is what you need to know. 1) the autopilot software is not yet perfect 2) some features are in alpha 3) It needs more sensors to become autonomous 4) Beta is 3 years away 5) longer for regulations to be in place. But, its one step closer to cars’ independence from bad drivers.
  • New carbon capture technology by Ion Engineering looks to capture 99% of CO2 from large point sources including coal and natural gas plants.Positive results from the first pilot scale testing. Testing expected to run through 2016. A commercial version of this will make plants less carbon polluting.

Turners

  • Theranos, the hot biotech startup that seemingly had developed a way to obtain quick blood test results is facing a credibility issue. A WSJ investigation into the company reveals that thecompany’s flagship ‘Edison’ machine that runs fast tests, is hardly used. The company relies on older machines for the bulk of its tests like any other test center. FDA recently asked Theranos to stop using its technology on all its blood tests, except for one. It looks like the company is trying to cover the fact that its blood testing technology is hitting regulatory roadblocks and has stalled. Theranos is valued at $9 billion and now faces FDA scrutiny.

In Tech News

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

Learn today

What is a Food Shock?
Food shock is when the global food supply goes into chaos. It could be caused by three large weather disasters occurring in quick successions. This will result in the rise of prices for base ingredients such as wheat, rice, beans and corn and will plunge financial markets and become an economic shock. We are largely unprepared for such a situation.

Change starts with you
Last Friday was World Food day! Here are two quick tips to avoid food waste – Keep your kitchen super organized and don’t buy cheap foods in bulk.

 Know 
Did you know?

Did you see?

A story this month
There used to be this company called True Sparrow. They were in a 2000+ Sqft. 8th floor office in Pune, India. My ex-colleagues and I had the pleasure of working next door to them. Every day, some of us felt downcast watching their employees play table tennis and drink free coke while we had our lunch tables blown away by wind. True Sparrow, in November 2012, got acquired by Fab, a social shopping company. They moved to a bigger and fancier office and our lunch tables were still flying. In Oct 2013, their CEO Jason Goldberg realized that they’d spent two-thirds of their cash and started to make job cuts. Fab, which had 750+ employees, cut its staff to 185 in 15 months, but couldn’t stay afloat.

March this year, Fab, that raised $330 million and valued at $1 billion, went bust and sold to PCH International for $15 million. Today, the 30+ guys at Fab and Hem (Fab’s pivot in 2014) in Pune still play minute-to-win-it games and I’m still not sure how sturdy the lunch tables are. But both of those don’t matter. The two most important things for a company are its customers and cash flow. If you lose both, you’re out. Want to know how working at Fab.com is, here are the most recent Glassdoor reviews for the company. Its the occasional dose of corporate reality.

Open Thought
Not a single company’s market position is ever consolidated. The state of every business should be viewed as a function of cash and customer perceptions over time.

News @Arcluster 
At Arcluster, we do webinar-themed discussions on market trends and emerging opportunities, with an aim to bring more openness to research. These sessions are conducted on a invite/request basis. To participate in a briefing, check out the analyst briefings page. We are also launching a new audio podcast section very soon. Follow us on twitter @arcluster for latest news from the company.

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

Sustain Weekly Newsletter-12Oct2015

By | Sustain | No Comments

SUSTAIN WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

A weekly sustainable tech newsletter from a standing desk. – Oct 12, 2015

Here are the top sustainability news I found interesting this week

In Tech News

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

  • What a VC expects out of a startup. An interesting read. Basically, every VC firm wants each of its investment to deliver 10x gain and hopes that at least one will deliver gigantic returns.
  • Some good lessons to grow revenues from 0 to 1 million. Very applicable for B2B products. My favorite advice in there is “If you build it, they won’t just come”. Sensible one.
  • Sanjeev Kapoor backs a food startup called Zupermeal. Also owns Yellow Chilli, a restaurant chain and FoodFood, a food channel. He does everything but innovatively cook.

Learn today

What is Guerrilla Gardening?
Guerrilla gardening is the act of gardening on land that the gardeners don’t have legal rights. Usually on lands that are uncared for. abandoned sites, city land or unused private property etc. It’s sort of like community gardening and is popular across parts of Calgary, Melbourne, California. Here is some info on Ron Finley, an urban guerrilla gardener who recently helped legalize it in Los Angeles.

Know 

  • How to make a wall herb garden. video
Did you know?

Did you see?

Did you read?

  • About the Chubby Chipotle Ad campaign. Basically, they claim that Chipotle is falsely marketing its foods as healthy by saying that its beef is low in hormones (lower than its tofu and pinto beans) But, Chipotle beans have high levels of hormones. So, lower is not exactly the correct way to say it.

Open Thought
If you’re planning to start a wedding planning marketplace startup, what would be the plan for customer retention be? What can you sell more than once to the same user? Not much.

Update
Last week, I associated food delivery startup discounts to customer leasing and that it might not be sustainable. The heat is already on food startups. Dazo shut shop. LocalBanya temporarily shut ops to lay off 40%. OrderSnack shut down before seed funding. Spoonjoy closed ops in Delhi, Bangalore

News @Arcluster 
You can find Arcluster’s social profiles on Facebook. We share some interesting news there once in a while. Like the page here. Here is the company profile on Linkedin. Follow for all recent posts. You can also subscribe to all company news by subscribing to the news feed at the webpage. Follow us on twitter@arcluster for latest news from the company.

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

Sustain Weekly Newsletter-5Oct2015

By | Sustain | No Comments

SUSTAIN WEEKLY NEWSLETTER

A weekly sustainable tech newsletter from a standing desk. – Oct 5, 2015

Here are the top sustainability news I found interesting this week

The Turners

In Tech News

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

Learn today

What is Khat?
Khat is a little green leaf native to the horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Khat chewing is a 1000 year old social custom. It’s a mild stimulant.

In Yemen, 90% of men and 50% of women chew Khat. 50% of household income is spent on it. In the last few decades, Most Yemeni farmers cultivate only Khat.  Yemen has gone from producing 95% of its food to importing 92% of it. 27-30% of ground water is dedicated to Khat irrigation. Sana’a, Yemen’s capital might be the World’s first capital to run out of water. The cultivation and trade of Khat in the Horn of Africa is linked to terrorist funding in Kenya and Somalia.

Know
How to stop auto playing videos on Facebook: Top right–>Settings–> Videos –> Dropdown Menu–>Auto-Play Videos–>Off

Did you know?

Did you see?

Did you read?

Open Thought
When you focus on only getting customers and not on retention, it is like leasing a car when you want to own it. The cost of ownership is tricky and gets even more expensive later. This trend is apparent in a majority of food delivery companies that are going through a high cash burn model.

News @Arcluster 
Arcluster is close to the launch of its first internally funded study, as part of our research unit that also does bespoke engagements. 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!