Thursday, February 23, 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

BNSF and the Pathfinder Program

Morgan Stanley On the Future of the Car

Skagit River Bridge Replacement

I-5 Skagit River Bridge Collapse Review | Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities | Vol 30, No 6

I-5 Skagit River Bridge Collapse Review | Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities | Vol 30, No 6

Trump versus the Markets

From Fortune:

"Trump has a totally different vision. In his mind, the plan will create a virtuous cycle of investment and durable growth. Companies will spend heavily on capital investment, and as they expand, pull millions of working-age folks who've quit the labor force back into offices and factories. The surge in capex will raise productivity through purchases of efficient machinery, and innovative technology that makes supply chains more efficient. That combination would cause production and the labor force to expand in tandem with demand for both products and workers, thus holding real prices in check. It's obvious, however, that both investors and the Fed think that a surge is prices is far more likely than the supply side revolution that Trump promises. The evidence is the rate rise that's already occurred as a harbinger of inflation to come. If a surge in the labor and output doesn't occur, the spike in growth will fade quickly. "You're juicing the economy for a short period," says Ashworth, "but it can't grow at 3% without high inflation because productivity and labor can't keep up. You run up against hard constraints." In that scenario, the Fed is forced to raise rates even further to stanch inflation, causing a recession. "We haven't repealed the business cycle," says Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. "This is already one of the longest expansions on record.""

Another Sign of Blade Runner 2049

From the New Yorker by Kelly Clancy - A Computer to Rival the Brain:

"Building on decades of work by Mead and others, engineers have been racing to roll out the first so-called neuromorphic chips for consumer use. Kwabena Boahen’s research group at Stanford unveiled its low-power Neurogrid chip in 2014, and Qualcomm has announced that its brain-inspired Zeroth processor will reach the market in 2018. Another model, I.B.M.’s TrueNorth, only recently moved from digital prototype to usable product. It consists of a million silicon neurons, tiny cores that communicate directly with one another using synapse-like connections. Here, the medium is the message; each neuron is both program and processing unit. The sensory data that the chip receives, rather than marching along single file, fan out through its synaptic networks. TrueNorth ultimately arrives at a decision—say, classifying the emotional timbre of its user’s voice—by group vote, as a choir of individual singers might strike on a harmony. I.B.M. claims the chip is useful in real-time pattern recognition, as for speech processing or image classification. But the biggest advance is its energy efficiency: it uses twenty milliwatts per square centimetre, more than a thousand times less than a traditional chip."