Never enough hours in the day for anything, sigh.
- Millennium Tower keeps on sinking, but there may be a fix
The LERA firm and DeSimone Consulting Engineers say the problem can be remedied by drilling 50 to 100 new piles down to bedrock from the building’s basement. Each pile would be anywhere from 10 inches to a foot in diameter.
The high-rise’s 900 piles now descend 60 to 91 feet — well short of the 200 feet to bedrock.
The engineering firms estimate the fix will cost $100 million to $150 million — more than your average home foundation repair, but a lot less than the billion-dollar-plus price tag that some experts have feared.
One source told us that residents would probably be able to stay in the building while the repairs were under way.
- Millennium Tower can survive Big One, city-ordered report says
an engineering analysis ordered up by the city has concluded that, while the 58-story downtown high-rise continues to both sink and tilt, it can nonetheless withstand a magnitude 8.0 earthquake.
- Structural Safety Review of the Millennium Tower
Observations of the site conditions, geotechnical reports (Treadwell & Rollo, 2005, SAGE, 2016), building foundation drawings and settlement measurements indicate that the primary mechanism for the large vertical settlement is consolidation of the Old Bay Clay that exists at depths of roughly 90 to 220 feet beneath the ground surface. These Old Bay Clay layers underlie the Marine Sands (occurring at depths of 40 to 90 feet) into which the precast piles are driven. The deep-seated settlement occurs primarily below the building but extends gradually outside the footprint of the tower foundation. The consolidation of the clay layers is a relatively slow process, occurring over a period of years, due to the increase in effective stress in the Old Bay Clay layers. This understanding as to the mechanism of the settlement is important to help confirm that the settlement is not due to distress in the foundation piles that may affect their ability to sustain forces associated with gravity and earthquake loading demands.
- The Hijacking of a $100 Million Supertanker
Barely seven hours had passed since the gunmen had taken the ship. But already an international cast was activating: salvors from the region’s cutthroat ports, to scavenge millions from the wreckage; U.S. military investigators, to determine if Somali pirates had adopted brutal new tactics; and most urgently of all, an operative from the stony world of London insurance, to discover what really happened aboard his clients’ $100 million liability. Because if the hijacking of the Brillante Virtuoso wasn’t a case of fumbled piracy, it would be the most spectacular fraud in shipping history.
The events of July 6, 2011, set in motion a tangle of lawsuits and criminal investigations that are still nowhere near conclusion. Six years after it was abandoned, the Brillante Virtuoso is an epithet among shipping veterans, one that reveals their industry’s capacity for lawlessness, financial complexity, and violence. This account is based on court evidence, private and government records, and more than 60 interviews with people involved, almost all of whom asked not to be identified, citing the sensitivities of nine-figure litigation and, in some cases, concern for their own safety. Everyone at sea that night survived. But the danger was just getting started.
- As California’s labor shortage grows, farmers race to replace workers with robots
Such has been the progress of ag-tech in California, where despite the adoption of drones, iPhone apps and satellite-driven sensors, the hand and knife still harvest the bulk of more than 200 crops.
Now, the $47-billion agriculture industry is trying to bring technological innovation up to warp speed before it runs out of low-wage immigrant workers.
California will have to remake its fields like it did its factories, with more machines and better-educated workers to labor beside them, or risk losing entire crops, economists say.
“California agriculture just isn’t going to look the same,” said Ed Taylor, a UC Davis rural economist. “You’re going to be hard-pressed to find crops grown as labor-intensively as they are now.”
Driscoll’s, which grows berries in nearly two dozen countries and is the world’s top berry grower, already is moving its berries to table-top troughs, where they are easier for both human and machines to pick, as it has done over the last decade in Australia and Europe.
“We don’t see — no matter what happens — that the labor problem will be solved,” said Soren Bjorn, president of Driscoll’s of the Americas.
- How Uber's Hard-Charging Corporate Culture Left Employees Drained
As interviews with more than two dozen former and current Uber employees show, the company reached such great heights by asking forgiveness, never permission, and pushing to the limits everything that it could: laws, municipalities, markets — and workers.
These employees — all of whom shared their experiences with BuzzFeed News on condition of anonymity, mostly for fear of repercussion — described impossible workloads, around-the-clock emergencies, fear of management, a total erosion of work-life balance, and a pattern of public humiliation at the hands of higher-ups as Uber pushed to become the juggernaut it is today. Many attributed panic attacks, substance abuse, depression, and hospitalizations to the stress of the job. All — even those who ultimately enjoyed their time there — recall a uniquely high-pressure environment in which employees were regularly pushed to a breaking point, but afraid to quit and leave large amounts of equity on the table.
- The Real Legacy of Crazy Horse
The atmosphere primes Red Cloud’s students to be both community prodigies and the young leaders of an indigenous renaissance of sorts: The reservation’s young people are driving a new wave of activism, like that seen in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. It’s a subtle yet intense movement that promises to define the future of Pine Ridge. After all, roughly half its population is under 25.
“We are part of the Seventh Generation ... prophesied to be the generation that creates those individuals that will spearhead the economic, spiritual, and social renewal,” Rosales said. The tall, slim 19-year-old sported a sharp haircut, Nike skate shoes, khaki-colored jeans, and a thick, crew-neck sweater when we spoke. Rosales was referring to a prophecy made by the Oglala Sioux leader Crazy Horse, who shortly before his death in the late 1800s predicted that a cultural renaissance was afoot. “We are going to be that group of people that makes that prophecy come true,” Rosales said. “Red Cloud is helping us to do that.”
- Saving forests saves lives
this is not “a cheap fix for climate change”: we’re going to have to do a lot more than mitigate the pace of deforestation if we want to have a chance at meeting that goal. But it is a reminder that incentives matter, and that at the margin, small sums can tilt the balance in surprisingly meaningful ways.
What’s more, preventing deforestation has substantial benefits which have nothing at all to do with climate change.
- BBR: Congestion-Based Congestion Control
Rethinking congestion control pays big dividends. Rather than using events such as loss or buffer occupancy, which are only weakly correlated with congestion, BBR starts from Kleinrock's formal model of congestion and its associated optimal operating point. A pesky "impossibility" result that the crucial parameters of delay and bandwidth cannot be determined simultaneously is sidestepped by observing they can be estimated sequentially. Recent advances in control and estimation theory are then used to create a simple distributed control loop that verges on the optimum, fully utilizing the network while maintaining a small queue. Google's BBR implementation is available in the open-source Linux kernel TCP
- Breaking open the MtGox case
the shared keypool of the wallet.dat file lead to address reuse, which confused MtGox's systems into mistakenly interpreting some of the thief's spending as deposits, crediting multiple user accounts with large sums of BTC and causing MtGox's numbers to go further out of balance by about 40,000 BTC.
- Current Harvard Oddness
Sometime back, the powers-that-be at Harvard decided that they didn't like the Harvard final clubs (Harvard's kind-of-like fraternities, "social clubs" that have been around for ages, but that are not in any official way affiliated with Harvard). There's plenty of reason not to like them, but at least initially concerns about sexual assault seemed to be the motivating factor. So the powers-that-be decided that if you belonged to some private single-sex organization, they would not let you be captain of a sports team, or be approved by Harvard for a Rhodes fellowship, or things like that. A number of faculty -- perhaps most notably, Harry Lewis -- objected to this policy, on multiple grounds. (Perhaps one large one is that there are many private single-sex organizations that are quite positive, and it seems odd to put all these organizations under the same blanket policy.) So after it was clear that there was some significant faculty objections, for a bit it was temporarily shelved, and a new committee put in place to make recommendations.
Several weeks deep in the summer, the report comes out, suggesting policies even harsher and more draconian than the original plan.
- Maryam Mirzakhani, 1977–2017
She made several breakthroughs in the geometric understanding of dynamical systems. Who knows what other great results she would have found if she had lived: we will never know. Besides her research she also was the first woman and the first Iranian to win the Fields Medal.
- AI leads to reward function engineering
With the recent explosion in AI, there has been the understandable concern about its potential impact on human work. Plenty of people have tried to predict which industries and jobs will be most affected, and which skills will be most in demand. (Should you learn to code? Or will AI replace coders too?)
Rather than trying to predict specifics, we suggest an alternative approach. Economic theory suggests that AI will substantially raise the value of human judgment. People who display good judgment will become more valuable, not less. But to understand what good judgment entails and why it will become more valuable, we have to be precise about what we mean.
- Inside Salesforce’s Quest to Bring AI to Everyone
“What do I work on next?” Most of us ask that question many times every day. (And too many of us end up answering, “Check Facebook” or “See if Trump tweeted again!”) To-do apps and personal productivity systems offer some help, but often turn into extra work themselves. What if artificial intelligence answered the “next task” question for you?
That’s what the Salesforce AI team decided to offer as Einstein’s first broadly available, readymade tool. Today Salesforce offers all kinds of cloud-based services for customer service, ecommerce, marketing and more. But at its root, it’s a workaday CRM (customer relationship management) product that salespeople use to manage their leads. Prioritizing these opportunities can get complicated fast and takes up precious time. So the Einstein Intelligence module—a little add-on column at the far right of the basic Salesforce screen—will do it for you, ranking them based on, say, “most likely to close.” For marketers, who also make up a big chunk of Salesforce customers, it can take a big mailing list and sort individual recipients by the likelihood that they’ll open an email.
- Is Productivity Growth Becoming Irrelevant?
Our standard mental model of productivity growth reflects the transition from agriculture to industry. We start with 100 farmers producing 100 units of food: technological progress enables 50 to produce the same amount, and the other 50 to move to factories that produce washing machines or cars or whatever. Overall productivity doubles, and can double again, as both agriculture and manufacturing become still more productive, with some workers then shifting to restaurants or health-care services. We assume an endlessly repeatable process.
But two other developments are possible. Suppose the more productive farmers have no desire for washing machines or cars, but instead employ the 50 surplus workers either as low-paid domestic servants or higher-paid artists, providing face-to-face and difficult-to-automate services. Then, as the late William Baumol, a professor at Princeton University, argued in 1966, overall productivity growth will slowly decline to zero, even if productivity growth within agriculture never slows.
Or suppose that 25 of the surplus farmers become criminals, and the other 25 police. Then the benefit to human welfare is nil, even though measured productivity rises if public services are valued, as per standard convention, at input cost.
- The Long Dark -- "Make It Right" -- WINTERMUTE LAUNCH TRAILER
Welcome to The Long Dark —an immersive survival simulation set in the aftermath of a geomagnetic disaster. Experience a unique first-person survival simulation that will force you to think and push you to your limits with its thought-provoking gameplay.