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On November 20, 2016, AvO commented on The New Waze to Drive :

Great post! There definitely are tremendous opportunities for apps like Waze to improve a host of driving conditions be it safety, timeliness, fuel economy, etc. as you have identified in your post. I agree that advertisements may be a slippery slope which could damage users’ experiences to the point where the app falls out of favor.

One question I have is regarding the risk major smartphone navigation providers like google/apple maps pose to Waze. What is to stop one of those major players from implementing Waze-like features into their apps and immediately taking the market out from underneath Waze? Do you know if Waze’s features are at least patent protected?

I wonder if stickiness is a factor for Facebook’s ability to irritate users with changes without hurting its membership too. While users on Digg or Reddit can create relatively substantial online libraries of past submitted content, comments, and saved/liked posts, their presence on a site like Digg or Reddit is still less of an investment than one’s presence on Facebook. Because leaving and recreating a meaningful presence on another site is difficult, I have to imagine that Facebook users are more willing to put up with Facebook’s changes without fleeing. Admittedly, this same argument is effectively undone by the massive exodus of Myspace users to Facebook a few years ago, but as you pointed out in your post the social patters on these online communities are fickle and often unpredictable. Now if we could only figure out how to use digg’s failure to convince major news sources like CNN and Forbes to stop using clickbait structures on their websites….

This article actually reminded me that I have an old Garmin GPS unit rattling around in the center console of my car. I had all but forgotten about it since navigation on my iPhone is so seamless–no wonder Garmin found its business on the rocks in the late oughts and early teens.

Philip and David have already brought up good points regarding the long-term viability of their wearable tech strategy to compete in an already crowded market. I’m not one to usually suggest firms just throwing in the towel, but I can’t help but wonder if a relevant strategy for Garmin now may be to just be bought out by one of their bigger competitors with more a sustainable competitive advantage. If the market is already so crowded with not much meaningful differentiation between the competitors I have to imagine other firms would be interested in increasing their market share through acquisition.

On November 20, 2016, AvO commented on Connected sensors for water quality testing :

Great post, Rob. Besides the greater public good implications of this technology, I really liked the auto-monitoring Brita filter idea.

In your research, were you able to find any data on the expected price of these sensors? Widespread success of these sensors definitely depends on being able to offer them at a relatively low price (particularly for disposable applications like Brita filters). Do you have any feel for how close this technology is to being mass produced and widely available?

On November 20, 2016, AvO commented on Rolls-Royce: Embracing IoT on a wing and a prayer :

Great article, Mitch. You do a good job providing background on Rolls Royce and the greater airline industry in the respect to how IoT technologies can improve their business performance. One question I had involved security: in your research were you able to learn anything about how businesses like Rolls Royce and Microsoft plan to overcome the security challenges posed by network connecting flight systems? I have to imagine that the FAA would not allow IoT systems to be used on flights unless systems were in place to prevent hacking or interference by nefarious groups.

I’m glad to see non-energy sector companies are taking significant strides to limit their impacts on global climate change. However, I cannot help but wonder whether these changes are actually making a significant impact on global greenhouse gas emissions as a whole. Undeniably, J&J is a very large company which a significant global presence, but I wonder where their levels of pollution rank compared to 1) other major corporations and 2) the pollution levels of the worst polluters on earth (how bad are the worst polluters, 10x as bad as J&J, 100x, 1000x?). I don’t oppose corporations taking a meaningful stance to address their own emissions, but this whole initiative looks like an easy-win, feel good campaign to me.

P.S. At Medtronic their “climate change initiative” was giving us cheap mugs so we didn’t use as many Styrofoam coffee cups. When pressed as to why they didn’t just switch to paper cups, we were told they feared the liability people accidentally getting burned by picking up an uninsulated coffee cup posed to the company. Sigh…

On November 7, 2016, AvO commented on Nestlé: Conserving Water as a Strategy to Sell More Water :

Great post, Majken! Nestle seems to be on track to defend its water sources and to shield the company from negative PR by launching campaigns to bring awareness to the growing threats to drinking water posed by global climate change. What I find curious is that given the assumed water shortage issues the world will face in the near future, why isn’t company quietly doubling down on its bottled water business by acquiring more sources of potable water so that it can sell more bottled water to water-deprived areas of the world in the near future? Perhaps I’m just a terrible person, but there seems to be a massive opportunity looming to supply water to the world which a big company like Nestle could be poised to fill, assuming they can avoid too much heat from the press and regulatory bodies in the interim.

Great post! As a motorcycle rider the allure of near-instantaneous acceleration is a very attractive one even if, as some members of our section have pointed out, they might sounds like an electric razor. I definitely think making a strong push to enter the Asian market would be a good way to experience the successes that companies like Harley-Davidson and BMW have failed to realize with their electric motorcycles.

With that said, I do wonder how how great of a positive environmental impact electric motorcycles could be. One challenge faced with the adoption of electric vehicles is the resulting greater energy demands on central power generation facilities (coal power plants, etc.)–the net result may be that we pollute less at the individual vehicle level but pollute more higher up the energy distribution network. Particularly in places like Asia where environmental controls on power plants are often less stringent than in the West, I wonder if the widespread adoption of electric vehicles like motorcycles could actually have a more deleterious effect on the global environment, and add the issues of environmentally-friendly battery disposal and pollution from battery precursor mining to the mix.

On November 7, 2016, AvO commented on Cool Power: A Paradigm Shift? :

Great post! I love learning about these new takes on the internal combustion engine and the synergies this company proposes by partnering with cold-channel distribution and utilizing liquid nitrogen “waste” from CNG liquefaction. However, I have two questions:

1) One of the core tenants of the Dearman engine is the use of a warm heat exchange fluid to cause flash evaporation of liquid nitrogen during the power stroke. In Figure 1 this heat exchange fluid is then “separated and re-heated” for reuse within the system. What is the source of heat Dearman proposes to use to re-heat this fluid? I assume he is proposing a heat exchanger using ambient warm air as the most cost effective and environmentally conscious solution, but I am concerned that the size that these heat exchangers will need to be to accomplish a meaningful heat transfer rate.

2) What is the net carbon balance on the Dearman engine when the energy needed to separate and condense nitrogen and the energy consumed transporting liquid nitrogen from CNG plants to distribution centers (like Sainbury’s) is considered? I understand the concept of using liquid nitrogen from CNG plants since it is effectively “waste,” but knowing how energy-intensive and inefficient nitrogen liquefaction is I have serious doubts that the entire energy cycle will even be close to being carbon neutral.

Thank you for the analysis of the greater global emissions reduction effort and the ecological challenges faced by mercury pollution associated with burning coal. However, I wonder how ADA Carbon Emissions plans to address the issue of incentivizing coal power plants to implement their mercury capture systems. As you mention, the social costs of mercury pollution are tremendous, but I fear more than just conscious will be necessary to incentivize coal power plants to adopts ADA’s technologies. I infer that ADA is banking on increased governmental regulations to mandate power plants to adopt technologies like those which ADA offers, however, we see from your post that the U.S. government seems unwilling to move forward with this sort of legislation due to the cost concerns associated with restricting the burning of coal. Do you have any information on how ADA’s technology will create value for coal fired power plants (either through energy generation, the ability to sell byproducts produced through the capture of mercury, cap-and-trade credits, etc)? A very informative article though!