August Reading is the second installment of my new monthly feature. I find interesting links on the internet and post them here with some light commentary.
This month, I started a new workflow that seems to be doing a-o-k. I’ll find links on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pocket, and Reddit and, as a logged-in Firefox user, send them to my iMac for inclusion and formatting.
It seems to be working pretty well — and, I’m now fully bought-in to the Firefox ecosystem. Their privacy-focused/privacy-first policies are just what I’m looking for. If you’ve been sleeping in Firefox for whatever reason, you should at least give it a try!
- I work with a lot of consultants, ranging from IT consulting through to user/customer research. Everything in this HBR article is true.
- The U.S. Navy is abandoning touchscreen controls in favor of physical buttons, switches, knobs, et cetera. While I love CarPlay, when moving, hitting those 44px touch targets to switch between apps (Maps to Now Playing, for instance) is difficult and very prone to errors. I touched on this in my talk The Consequences of Bad Design, where I highlight the U.S.S. John McCain accident as a result of unclear controls.
- The untold story of the vegetable peeler that changed the world takes a look at OXO and the iconic Good Grips peeler. The thesis of this article is all around inclusive design and how accessibility benefits everyone. I, for one, am glad that my fingers won’t be shredded when I’m using an OXO Good Grips product.
- An Oral History of Revenge of the Nerds. I can’t tell you how much time I spent growing up watching Revenge of the Nerds. I really hated those goddamn Alpha Betas! Also, the film is 35 years old. Jesus Christ.
- “If Benjamin were an ice cream flavor, he’d be pralines and dick.” Wayne’s World is another one of those infinitely quotable movies. The Ringer takes a look at how Wayne’s World kicked off a series of really funny movies.
Climate & Energy
- A clean energy breakthrough could be buried deep beneath rural Utah. And it’s not just magic underpants.
- The world’s largest EV never has to recharge. It’s brilliant — this monster dump truck never has to recharge because it moves uphill empty but downhill full, and regenerative braking with a full load provides enough electricity for it to go uphill again.
- Economic justice is very important. And when you read headlines like “The World’s Wealthiest Family Gets $4 Million Richer Every Hour,” it really makes me want to download plans to build a guillotine.
- WeWork is the latest example of a company failing up. If you’re not familiar, WeWork is an office subleasing company on steroids, subsidized mostly by VC funds – in other words, not super viable. This was made apparent in their IPO filing paperwork.
- In short, everything about WeWork is utterly odd. It is a real estate company valued like a tech company. It is a young company with questionable economics that has committed to paying tens of billions of dollars in future years for office building leases. This is a company whose intricate relationships with its chief executive requires 10 pages of disclosures. And this may be the first time I’ve seen an IPO filing with a section titled “Expected Resilience in a Downturn.”
- St. Louis Public Radio has an awesome story about a young African American entrepreneur who wants to inspire young black boys through business. It’s a really awesome story:
- Last October, the 11-year-old turned his interest in cars into an air freshener and deodorizer business called Mr. Fresh. Joshua said his product can make anything fresh, including the inside of a car and fabrics at home. For $7 a pop, each portable glass spray bottle has its own unique scent and color from Black Ice and Cool Breeze to Yellow Rose and Baby Powder.
- Maine is in trouble, and a harbinger of what’s to come across the United States. The Washington Post reports on the Elder Boom in Maine:
- Across Maine, families like the Flahertys are being hammered by two slow-moving demographic forces — the growth of the retirement population and a simultaneous decline in young workers — that have been exacerbated by a national worker shortage pushing up the cost of labor.
- No city government asked Lime / Bird / Jump / etc. to infect their city sidewalks with scooters, but now, with Hurricane Dorian bearing down on Miami, there’s now a fear that Dockless Scooters will be projectiles.
- A scathing new Pentagon report blames Trump for the return of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. You can go ahead and file this one under No shit, Sherlock. Who knew that putting someone with zero foreign policy experience at the top of the chain of command would end like this?!
- Texas Is Illegally Throwing Out Mail-In Ballots, Lawsuit Says. When the only way to win is to cheat, the GOP cheats to win. Disgusting.
- Nadler: ‘This is formal impeachment proceedings.’ To paraphrase someone way dumber than most, “If it’s what you say, I love it.” 🙂
- House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said publicly for the first time on Thursday that his panel is conducting an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, adding that the committee will decide by the end of the year whether to refer articles of impeachment to the House floor.