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On November 20, 2016, Shiv commented on Lost in Translation: Duolingo Makes Language Learning Mobile :

I’ve used Duolingo but had no idea this is how their business model is structured. It reminds of what ReCaptcha is doing and clearly demonstrates the power of large groups of people. Essentially what ReCaptcha does is it gives two words when it needs to authenticate a human. One of the words is know by ReCaptcha, the other it uses inputs from a large number of humans to figure out what it is. In this way ReCaptcha is transcribing several old handwritten books. It is very interesting the Duolingo is following a similar model to harness the knowledge of large groups of people

On November 20, 2016, Shiv commented on If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It? Think Again… :

“Although KONUX has been focused on an integrated solution, I believe that going forward they should focus on the hardware-side to further develop their competitive advantage”. This is an interesting thought and the more I think about it the more I agree with you. I completely feel that this space is about being the first mover since the sensors being installed are not some technological moat. So if they concentrate on getting hardware installed, they can create a moat by being the first mover and signing long term maintenance contracts.

On November 20, 2016, Shiv commented on Enlighted Inc: Nest but better :

Really cool article. I completely agree when you say commercial real estate “has lagged behind other industries in terms of innovation”. So while reading the article I though no would like to pay additional money upfront to gain value in the future, given that real estate is such a cash flow intensive business. But as I read further, I really liked that Enlightened is providing the lighting on lease basis. I think this is ideal for a real estate developer who wants to spend as little as possible initially.

On November 20, 2016, Shiv commented on Intercom: Reimaging customer service :

Very interesting article about a very interesting space. I wonder what machine learning and artificial intelligence steps Intercom is taking. Ultimately I feel the winner in this space would be someone that masters the machine learning aspect. For instance there is a similar startup in India that creates chat channels with representatives from companies. The idea was to initially collect data on the way the customer interacts with representatives and then pivot to move away from representatives and towards artificial intelligence.

An awesome post! I think this startup could be a game-changer in the construction industry. I especially like your suggestions on the planning front. To push it a little further, the construction sites that I’ve worked at has involved several different subcontractors. So a different companies for electrical wiring, plumbing, firefighting etc. The point is that there are several tasks that involve close coordination of different subcontractors. A planning feature could allow for example the plumbing guy to know the status of the electrical so he can decide whether to order onto the construction certain goods that will need to be installed. The advantages would be two fold. Firstly basic communication would reduce costs for all subcontractors, reduce timelines, as there is better communication and create a more clear and organized site. Secondly what often happens is that different subcontractors blame each other’s short fallings for delays, claiming they were delayed because the guy before him didn’t do his work on time. With proper tracking, there would be proper accountability, which is important when a real estate developer wants to know who has caused delays

Given that Maersk and other shipping companies control so much of the worlds flow of goods and products, any regulation on this sector can have rippling effects. Could international regulation that taxes for carbon intensive products and subsidizes carbon friendly products be a viable solution. I know you mention that the “maritime shipping industry already accounts for roughly 3% of global CO2 emissions”. But shouldn’t we also take into account the CO2 emissions that were resulted from the production of the goods the shipping industry ships?

I am fascinated by Lockheed Martin’s decision to invest in nuclear fusion reactor, that too a compact one (which makes the engineering significantly harder). While they, a private sector company, have given themselves 10 years to complete the project, you cant help but compare it to ITER. ITER is collaboration between the EU, India, Japan, China, Russia, South Korea, and the United States; so it is hard to see Lockheed Martin competing against such a powerhouse, given that ITER too has been constantly pushing back their deadline.

On November 6, 2016, Shiv commented on Southern California Edison: The power to change :

Its interesting that you mention “To smooth the energy production curve, SCE is currently in the middle of installing the largest grid-connected energy storage purchase in U.S. history”. I wonder though, what technology is being used for the storage. I feel that constant charging and recharging of large scale batteries would cause them to be useless very fast. That also makes me wonder what is the cost of this project, and how this cost being passed on to consumers. Ultimately though, I agree with your sentiment that SCE’s main challenge is to “ensure that their distribution system is prepared to handle similar changes in consumer energy requirements.”

On November 6, 2016, Shiv commented on Aramco: Oil Giant Feels the Heat :

I want dive a little bit deeper into your “Invest in Renewables” point. When working at an oilfield a few years back. I noticed that the field itself had a net carbon output as it was powered on conventional energy. At the same time the field was spread out and away from an urban population. A report I wrote suggested using solar to power the general functioning of the oil field in itself. In this case there could also be a positive NPV on this investment as additional oil could be sold into the market. While this may not make ARAMCO carbon zero, I feel this could be a potential step in the right direction.

Another option, which is possible in both conventional nuclear fission as well as TWR is the use of thorium instead of uranium. Firstly thorium is three times more abundant in the Earths crust, making it easier and more eco-friendly to mine. Waster from thorium reactors can be reprocessed as additional fuel stock. Thorium is also not as easily weaponised making it a safer nuclear fuel. Also thorium produces less than a tenth of the nuclear waste of conventional nuclear reactors. Compared to conventional nuclear reactors thorium is also requires less capital expenditure. It would be interesting to see TWR use thorium instead of depleted uranium, which TerraPower has hinted on sometimes.