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On November 20, 2016, pmcmann commented on Inovalon: health insurers’ secret weapon :

Awesome post! I agree that Inovalon is in an interesting position to provide value to many different entities. Faster and more consolidated information will help physicians provide better care and hospitals to reduce operational costs. Based upon ransomware attacks at places like MedStar Health, I am curious how Inovalon approaches cybersecurity and protects patient information [1].

1. Cox, J.W. (29 March 2016). MedStar Health turns away patients after likely ransomware cyberattack. The Washington Post. Retrieved from:

Thanks for the post! I am a big fan of the nuclear industry and thought many of the digital solutions have great potential. Using virtual reality could have enormous impacts in the effectiveness of training and radiologically sensitive maintenance. With regard to training, virtual reality could provide workers with a view of power plant components which are inaccessible due to radiation concerns or space constraints. During my last tour, I spent a considerable amount of time in a shipyard doing high level maintenance. As a result, I gained a much greater understanding of the reactor plant and engine room than I would have otherwise simply by seeing equipment overhauled. Additionally, virtual reality could provide a fast, low cost solution for workers to learn worksites and rehearse maintenance in radiologically sensitive areas. There are strict regulations regarding people’s exposure to radiation. As a result, anything which reduces the amount of time a worker must be in areas of higher radiation helps increase safety, improve worker utilization, and reduce costs.

Thanks for the post! I think the Building Intelligence System is a great step to making firefighting safer and more effective. Fire fighting was an important aspect of my last job, and I spent a considerable amount of time coordinating with the civilian fire departments. Firefighters are constantly facing new environments and understanding the high level building layout and risks before entering definitely makes the job much safer. Additionally, I am skeptical but hopeful of the fire prevention plan. I think there is immense value in fire prevention, but I fear the effectiveness will be limited by the scope of information the algorithm can receive.

I also agree that the regulatory risks of the merger are real. However, I do think AT&T is working to calm the concerns of anti-trust problems. In many ways, AT&T will increase the competitiveness within the current media distribution landscape. Most people have limited choices for their cable provider, and AT&T could disrupt the status quo of companies like Comcast. Additionally, communicating value of the merger to shareholders seems important to me. I would look to frame the gain as value creation from new advertising revenue and new customers drawn to AT&T for fast, interesting, and innovative mobile content. Overall, I think it will be interesting to see how this merger plays out in the next year.

On November 20, 2016, pmcmann commented on PG&E: A Journey in Smart Grid Design :

Interesting post! Reshaping the electric grid, implementing sustainable energy generation, and developing effective mass storage are certainly important problems facing utilities and regulators today. First, most forms of clean renewables (wind, solar, hydro) are all seasonly affected. With an updated grid or mass storage, utilities could smooth the power generation from renewables and reduce their reliance on more consistent forms of power generation.

Interesting topic! It is terrifying to consider how detrimental HCFC’s are to the environment and climate change, and I appreciate the comparison to CO2. Rising temperatures will put an additional demand on HVAC, and low GWP refrigerant technology will help meet demand without worsening the problem. Additionally, I agree with Daniel and believe it is incredible that Daikin offered free access to 93 patents.

On November 7, 2016, pmcmann commented on The Home Depot Owning the DIY Approach to Climate Change :

Awesome topic! I do not think enough can be said about committing to environmentally friendly, sustainable practices that are also profitable. Ultimately, change will happen fastest if it positively impacts the bottom line, and meaningful operational changes are more impactful than policy changes or regulation. Additionally, the Home Depot’s shift to more sustainable wood serves as an outstanding example of the power of the socially conscious consumer.

On November 7, 2016, pmcmann commented on Is Tyson Forcing Itself Into Sustainability? :

Eric, thank you for bringing up this topic! Few people consider the environmental impact of of livestock when thinking about climate change or pollution in general. In addition to climate change implications, many livestock farms, poultry in particular, have other adverse affects on the environment. I lived on the Chesapeake Bay and worked with several water keepers in college, and Perdue Chicken manure was one of the largest detriments to the Bay. More information about this particular case can be found in Washington Post article published in 2010 [1].

1. Fahrenthold, D.A. “Perdue, poultry farm sued for polluting Chesapeake Bay.” Washington Post, March 2nd, 2010.

The importance of the Navy and Coast Guard’s role in the Arctic cannot be overstated. As someone who spent one year studying sea ice and conducted arctic operations, I agree that building more robust fleet of ice breakers is a step in the right direction. Additionally, Ward makes an excellent point about reducing the reliance on fossil fuels. However, I am skeptical about the cost associated with a larger nuclear surface fleet. Although nuclear power has many advantages, it is incredibly expensive and should be carefully considered if the goal is more ships and broader presence.

On November 7, 2016, pmcmann commented on Running on Fumes :

Interesting product! I agree Ingevity should look for new applications to activated charcoal as the proliferation of electric vehicles rises in developed markets. Activated charcoal has many uses, and I think water purification is especially relevant to climate change and the environment. Nearly 700 million people do not have access to reliable, clean drinking water [1]. Additionally, climate change will likely reduce the availability of clean freshwater. For instance, the 2012 Washington State Integrated Response Strategy for Climate Change assesses a decline in water quality will occur due to saltwater intrusion and increased storm runoffs [2].

1. World Health Organization and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme. 2015. Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water, 2015 Update and MDG Assessment

2.Adelsman, H., and J. Ekrem. 2012. Preparing for a changing climate: Washington State’s Integrated Climate Response Strategy.