At the exact same time next week I’ll be at the Sumburgh Airport, located on the South side of the Shetland Islands, in Scotland. There, during a whole week, I’ll be pursuing Onshore Daylight, the series I started last year during the exact same week. I was on Islay Island, in Scotland too. The picture above is from this actual series. 

If you want, you can have a look at it on my website

4

Design for Future Machines/

"Countries trying to understand what’s next for their export industries often call Ricardo Hausmann. The Harvard economist and onetime planning minister for Venezuela has developed a kind of economic aptitude test for nations. Using complexity theory and trade data, Hausmann looks at what a country is good at making and predicts what types of more valuable items it could produce next…

"The U.S. has very, very high wages compared to other countries. Yet it also has a comparative advantage, which is deep knowledge, high R&D intensity, and the best science and technology base in the world.

The step that makes the most sense for the U.S. is to become the producer of the machinery that will power the next global manufacturing revolution. That is where the most complex and sophisticated products are, and that is the work that can pay higher wages…

My guess is that developments around information technology, 3-D printing, and networks will allow for a redesign of manufacturing. The world will be massively investing in it. The U.S. is well positioned to be the source of those machines. It can only be rivaled by Germany and Japan.”

(via Technology Review)

Green Toys Inc.: Reverse Globalisation

"You can’t be green if you’re shipping from China," said von Goeben in an interview with the SF Gate, the web-based subdivision of the San Francisco Chronicles.

The article commends Green Toys Inc. for “keeping the business local.” Reverse globalisation is becoming the trend for businesses with the aim to increase their efficiency while reducing their carbon footprints.

Keeping the supply chain local is part of a new trend called onshoring, [or reverse globalisation], a push back against the offshoring and outsourcing that has sent jobs and manufacturing overseas, and gobbled up fossil fuels. 

Green Toys Inc. has proven that reverse globalisation is the perfect model, especially for small firms like themselves. If needed, they can easily hop over from the company’s small San Francisco office to the various facilities that participate in the production process. In addition, they can have more flexibility with the production. 

Last Christmas, when one customer sold out of Green Toys products in early December and ordered more ASAP, the company was able to ramp up and churn out the toys in just eight days. Overseas shipping would have added weeks to the turn-around time. 

Green Toys Inc.’s practice of reverse globalisation embraces the idea of sustainable development. In addition to cutting back on the carbon emission and fossil fuel usage, promoting onshoring would promote a healthy growth for the local economy. As for the social equity aspect, Green Toys Inc. contracts with the Work Center, a human services agency based in San Mateo, California, to assemble its toys. The Work Center provides vocational training for individuals who are disabled, have mental illness, or have other challenges that have made it difficult for them to succeed in a traditional work setting. Green Toys Inc. provides them with opportunity to work, which benefits the overall quality of the community. 

Cheers to sustainability! 

 

Apple is under so much pressure in Washington over its offshore cash that it’s doing things it almost never does. CEO Tim Cook is coming to Washington to testify in front of a panel of senators about stashing more than $100 billion overseas, rather than sending a lower-level executive. He will offer Congress Apple’s ideas for comprehensive…

Liking the new flavor of interaction with the outside world we’re seeing in Apple these days. Tim Cook is making some very positive changes to the company - onshoring mac production being the coolest!

Manufacturing Leaving China?

The Atlantic recently published an article about General Electric moving its appliance manufacturing operations back to the States from China. A great (and lengthy) article, it highlights some of the challenges businesses are facing in China.

For much of the past decade, General Electric’s storied Appliance Park, in Louisville, Kentucky, appeared less like a monument to American manufacturing prowess than a memorial to it. The very scale of the place seemed to underscore its irrelevance. Six factory buildings, each one the size of a large suburban shopping mall, line up neatly in a row. The parking lot in front of them measures a mile long and has its own traffic lights, built to control the chaos that once accompanied shift change. But in 2011, Appliance Park employed not even a tenth of the people it did in its heyday. The vast majority of the lot’s spaces were empty; the traffic lights looked forlorn.

Yet this year, something curious and hopeful has begun to happen, something that cannot be explained merely by the ebbing of the Great Recession, and with it the cyclical return of recently laid-off workers. On February 10, Appliance Park opened an all-new assembly line in Building 2—largely dormant for 14 years—to make cutting-edge, low-energy water heaters. It was the first new assembly line at Appliance Park in 55 years—and the water heaters it began making had previously been made for GE in a Chinese contract factory.

For the rest of the article, click here.

Ronnie Polidoro for NBC’s Rock Center:

In an exclusive interview with Brian Williams airing tonight at 10pm/9c on NBC’s “Rock Center,” Apple CEO Tim Cook announced one of the existing Mac lines will be manufactured exclusively in the United States next year. Mac fans will have to wait to see which Mac line it will be because Apple, widely known for its secrecy, left it vague. Cook’s announcement may or may not confirm recent rumors in the blogosphere sparked by iMacs inscribed in the back with “Assembled in USA.”

“We’ve been working for years on doing more and more in the United States,” Cook told Williams. It was Cook’s first interview since taking over from his visionary former boss, Steve Jobs, who resigned due to health reasons in August 2011. Jobs died on October 5, 2011, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Barring some unforeseen disaster, I would expect to see the manufacturing of just about everything Apple makes get onshored in the next decade. Tim Cook isn’t any happier when preordered devices have to come all the way from China than Apple’s customers are.

Also interesting:

What’s next for Apple? Did Cook leave us with a clue?

“When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years,” Cook told Williams. “It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”

Maybe 2013 will be the Year of Gaming on the Apple TV. (Sooner or later I’m going to be right about this.)

Siemens Exec On Why It Built A Plant In Charlotte

“A lot of things that were offshored in the past were offshored because of lower-cost labor, but that’s no longer the most important factor,” said Eric Spiegel, president and chief executive of Siemens’s U.S. subsidiary. “The reasons you bring a plant like this to the United States are higher-skilled labor, access to the world’s best research and development, and good, sound infrastructure.”

Rin-chan, Now! [CLOSED]

Wait, shoot, that title doesn’t work because he’s not a Vocaloid producer. Too bad she’s dead. RIP in peace, Saki.

Anyway! The morning announcement just played and he’s awake. For once. He usually sleeps in for a bit longer but, damn, he doesn’t want to miss breakfast. So, before the doors close, Mizuchi makes his way to the kitchen. Yeah, the food that was served wasn’t that bad but seriously? They had ramune in that fridge. Who the hell is going to drink that? It’s not even on the goddamn menu. So it’s all his. And maybe Ryuu’s. Might as well share, right?

And just as he was about to rummage through the refrigerator for the drink that wasn’t officially his, Mizuchi found a small girl already making a mess in there. Not literally. Baking industry sure is harsh. You have to have everything neat and tidy or else you’ll be considered unsanitary and shut down. Does that rule work here too? Oh, well, tiny pastry chef, cook away. Just kidding, Mizuchi’s going to bug her.
He leaned over her shoulder, which isn’t very hard to do considering their height difference, to take a look at what she’s making.

image

"Whatcha cookin’, man? I would’ve said good-lookin’ but that’s me and I'm not cookin'.”

Mizuchi Ryuujin, disturbing creative geniuses since elementary, reporting for duty.

High Court decision helps refugees!

Big deal High Court refugee case this week! It did 2 good things!

1. It’s unlawful for our Government to force asylum seekers onto temporary visas to stop them applying for permanent ones! This is great because temporary visas are ass (you can’t start your life if you’re waiting for the day the visa runs out and we kick you out).

2. The High Court concluded that the Constitution limits how Government uses (onshore) detention! Detention is only OK if used to help process visas or to remove someone - and this has to be done ASAP. This means our Government can’t detain people just to ‘deter’ or mess around to punish em or delay things for no good reason. And cause the CONSTITUTION says it, this means no Government can override it this!

This helps a lot of asylum seekers right now argue they should be on permanent visas, should be released, or have their claims processed faster!

The Nova Scotia government will prohibit high-volume hydraulic fracturing for onshore shale gas, saying Wednesday the ban will remain in place until the province’s population is ready to embrace the industry.

Energy Minister Andrew Younger said Nova Scotians have made it clear they are “not comfortable” with fracking.

“There is not a community in this province … where there’s a large number of people pushing to allow hydraulic fracturing,” Younger told a news conference in Halifax.

“The resources belong to the people of Nova Scotia and they get to decide how they are harnessed.”

Younger said the province’s Liberal government will introduce legislation this fall to prohibit fracking for an indefinite time frame.

In making the announcement, Younger pointed to a key study released in April by an independent group of Canadian scientists.

The Council of Canadian Academies concluded that even though fracking could produce big economic benefits across Canada, there is significant uncertainty on the risks to the environment and human health.

“That contributed quite a bit to this debate,” Younger said.

Younger’s announcement came less than a week after a panel of Nova Scotia experts released a report saying fracking shouldn’t be allowed until more independent research is done on health, environmental and economic impacts.

A two-year moratorium on fracking was put in place by the previous NDP government in 2012 as public protests grew in Nova Scotia and in neighbouring New Brunswick.

On Wednesday, Younger said he took note of what has been happening in New Brunswick, where violent protests against fracking erupted last October near Rexton.

“We obviously wanted to avoid anything like that,” he said.

“But this decision is not about avoiding violent protests. Had we allowed hydraulic fracturing in this province we would have managed that in a different way.”

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