From trash to cash: How a Thai entrepreneur turned used flip-flops into a sustainable business model

One day in mid-2015, Dr. Nattapong Nithi-Uthai, who goes by the nickname “Arm,” looked at the pile of flip-flops in his backyard. Some 100,000 of them were stacked up waist high behind his house in Pattani, on the coast of southern Thailand. The flip-flops laid there undisturbed for months. A family of venomous snakes even built a nest inside. Arm wanted to reuse the flip-flops, but he also wanted to produce a product that made money at the same time. After many months and several prototypes, he still didn’t have a winning product. Arm thrived on challenges, but this time he seemed stuck with his flip-flop mountain. Arm’s breakthrough finally came in January 2016. Since then, he and his team, which includes Padinya Aree, Maradee Baka, and Ruslan Masae, have profitably reused thousands of old flip-flops, turning them into new shoes. They call their nonprofit project “Tlejourn,” a Thai play on words for traveling shoes. Their success came after Arm and the Tlejourn team solved several challenges. First, because flip-flops can’t be melted down and recycled, they devised a low-tech, inexpensive way to upcycle old flip-flops by grinding them into small pieces and then gluing them tog...

Self-assembly of highly sensitive 3D magnetic field vector angular encoders

Novel robotic, bioelectronic, and diagnostic systems require a variety of compact and high-performance sensors. Among them, compact three-dimensional (3D) vector angular encoders are required to determine spatial position and orientation in a 3D environment. However, fabrication of 3D vector sensors is a challenging task associated with time-consuming and expensive, sequential processing needed for the orientation of individual sensor elements in 3D space. In this work, we demonstrate the potential of 3D self-assembly to simultaneously reorient numerous giant magnetoresistive (GMR) spin valve sensors for smart fabrication of 3D magnetic angular encoders. During the self-assembly process, the GMR sensors are brought into their desired orthogonal positions within the three Cartesian planes in a simultaneous process that yields monolithic high-performance devices. We fabricated vector angular encoders with equivalent angular accuracy in all directions of 0.14°, as well as low noise and low power consumption during high-speed operation at frequencies up to 1 kHz. Directional anisotropic sensors, transducers, and actuators are essential for the next generation of electronic devices a...

Commercial Cooling Showcase 2016: Summer Heat No Match for HVAC Cooling Equipment | 2016-05-02

It’s time again for the annual Cooling Showcase. The NEWS’ annual issue has traditionally introduced the latest air conditioning units available for the upcoming summer season. The intent is to help contractors prepare for this busy period by doing the research that will help them to distinguish between brands. Like last year, this year’s Cooling Showcase is split into two parts — commercial and residential. This issue focuses on the commercial side of the air conditioning industry, while the April 11 issue highlighted new offerings in the residential cooling market. Included in the coverage is feature-specific information about each individual product as submitted by the manufacturers. This product grid includes technical facts such as unit tonnage, refrigerant type, efficiency rating, and cooling capacity. The photo feature, which begins below, provides more in-depth information on the features of each individual unit and includes technical support information from each manufacturer. The manufacturers provided all of the data included in the product grid as well as the photo feature. Therefore, any questions should be directed to them via the contact information provided in th...

It seems like only yesterday that the Linksys WRT54G and the various open source firmware replacements

It seems like only yesterday that the Linksys WRT54G and the various open source firmware replacements for it were the pinnacle of home router hacking. But like everything else, routers have gotten smaller and faster over the last few years. The software we run on them has also gotten more advanced, and at this point we’ve got routers that you could use as a light duty Linux desktop in a pinch. But even with no shortage of pocket-sized Linux devices in our lives, the GL-USB150 “Microrouter” that [Mason Taylor] recently brought to our attention is hard to ignore. Inside this USB flash drive sized router is a 400 MHz Qualcomm QCA9331 SoC, 64 MB of RAM, and a healthy 16 MB of storage; all for around $20 USD. Oh, and did we mention it comes with OpenWRT pre-installed? Just plug it in, and you’ve got a tiny WiFi enabled Linux computer ready to do your bidding. On his blog [Mason] gives a quick rundown on how to get started with the GL-USB150, and details some of the experiments he’s been doing with it as part of his security research, such as using the device as a remote source for Wireshark running on his desktop. He explains that the diminutive router works just fine when plugged ...

Mine prospect near Nome could help make batteries for laptops and cars

A preliminary economic analysis has found that a graphite mining prospect near Nome — an effort to capitalize on a potential supply crunch from China and a growing appetite for electric vehicles — could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars if it’s developed. “It shows we have an economically viable project,” Doug Smith, executive chair of Graphite One Resources, said in an interview. “And it shows in general what size we would be, and what kind of processing facilities we need. Now the next phase is to refine and optimize that.” The graphite deposit in the mountains 37 miles north of Nome in Northwest Alaska is considered to be one of the world’s largest. But the Graphite Creek project, as it’s known, would be a relatively small operation for a mine, company officials said from their offices in Canada. Kyle Moselle, of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, said the Graphite Creek prospect is unusual compared to other graphite mines around the world because of the large size of the graphite flakes. The permitting process and environmental review, with public input, is yet to come. Overall, the prospect is small. “It’...

A couple of Christmases ago, Joe Parenteau wanted to buy his mother some affordable, quality tableware

A couple of Christmases ago, Joe Parenteau wanted to buy his mother some affordable, quality tableware after she went through a massive kitchen renovation. That’s when he decided to create a line of artisan tableware, Fable, alongside Tina Luu and Max Tims. The co-founders made it their mission to create home essentials that would make something simple, such as enjoying a meal at home, a memorable moment. “We started making some designs in Vancouver, and then started to look for producers around the world,” Parenteau told the Straight on the line from Greece. A lot of research had to be done: from figuring out the style to learning the differences between stoneware and earthenware to choosing where the products would be produced. There was also the self-doubt of whether an online-only tableware retailer could even compete against traditional brick-and-mortar shops that sold dishes and cutlery. “We launched a preliminary line in the spring. It was a very, very small batch,” explained Parenteau. “We ended up selling it out over the course of the next coming months, and we were able to learn a lot from the customers.” The Fable trio took into account what their customers enjoyed, w...

Espargaro: Very different chassis retains KTM DNA | MotoGP

Pol Espargaro believes KTM’s much-revised MotoGP chassis, which he believes is “80 percent tubular” is “the line we need to work with.” Pol Espargaro has insisted KTM is retaining its DNA despite publicly debuting a much-revised chassis at the MotoGP Valencia test on Tuesday that strayed from the round tubular-steel design that it has used across a host of disciplines. The Catalan sported a new frame that appeared more like a conventional beam shape, as used in aluminium form by KTM’s MotoGP rivals. Espargaro ran it throughout the day as the factory attempts to improve the turning capabilities of the RC16. “We are trying to find this turning that we are missing in comparison to other manufacturers. We get more turning and a little bit more comfort in the corner,” he said “We were also trying a few other things to help with that. Our main focus now is to get a little bit more traction when the conditions are worse. I think we are in the good way. “It feels not normal for me. Normal is tubular and I like it, but yeah it’s a hybrid. I think it is 80% tubular still. We have done the form on the side so that it looks a bit different but not as much as...

Lockheed Martin just launched the Pony Express 1 mission as a hosted payload on Tyvak-0129, a next-generation

Lockheed Martin just launched the Pony Express 1 mission as a hosted payload on Tyvak-0129, a next-generation Tyvak 6U spacecraft. The Pony Express 1, now being tested in-orbit, is a “rapid prototyping cubesat that will enable artificial intelligence, data analytics, cloud networking and advanced satellite communications in a robust new software-defined architecture. “Early on-orbit data show Pony Express 1 is performing its important pathfinding mission very well. Lockheed Martin’s HiveStar technology onboard will give our customers unparalleled speed, resiliency and flexibility for their changing mission needs by unlocking even greater processing power in space,” said Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Space. “This is the first of several rapid, self-funded experiments demonstrating our ability to systematically accelerate our customers’ speed to mission while reducing risk from new technologies.” Pony Express 1, an example of rapid prototyping, was developed, built and integrated in nine months, and was funded completely by Lockheed Martin Research and Development funding. This orbital proving ground is validating payload hardware and software, and is p...

Getting great wildlife shots requires a great deal of patience, and even then nature won’t make

Getting great wildlife shots requires a great deal of patience, and even then nature won’t make an appearance unless you blend in with your environment. Rock up to a wildlife shoot in a dayglo shell suit and you wont attract any birds, feathered or otherwise. But which camouflage is best? Shooting in sandy or snowy conditions rather than a wood? Hunt out a hide that can be specced in a choice of covers. A decent dome hide may be the lap of luxury, but carrying several extra kilos makes it vital to plan your shooting. Look for camo scrim netting that’ll make your hide almost invisible or nature-themed camera covers. Even the fanciest hide won’t instantly inspire animals to strike the perfect pose, so pack plenty of provisions. The cover of choice for most pros is a dedicated hide. A typical tent design gives you numerous windows to shoot through and is usually a doddle to set up. You’ll also have plenty of room to move around inside, as well as decent protection from the elements. However, the weight and bulk of a full-on portable hide can be a pain when you’re on the go. That’s where camouflage clothing comes into its own. Go for a hoodie and trousers that’ll slip straight over...

Trump Renews Threat of 25% Tariffs on European Autos

President Donald Trump talks with the new head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in Davos. Months after pulling back on plans to impose hefty tariffs on European auto imports, President Donald Trump again raised that threat during interviews at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In November, the administration let pass the deadline on enacting auto tariffs of up to 25% that would have been justified under a study by the U.S. Commerce Dept. claiming they posed a threat to national security. But, in a pair of TV interviews, Trump again raised the prospect of a new trade war with the European Union. “I met with the new head of the European Commission, who’s terrific. And I had a great talk,” he told CNBC’s Joe Kernen, referring to Ursula von der Leyen, the former German defense minister, who took on the new role last month. “But I said, ‘look, if we don’t get something, I’m going to have to take action’ and the action will be very high tariffs on their cars and on other things that come into our country.” In another interview from Davos with Fox Business News, Trump offered a bit more detail, saying that, “Ultimately it will be very easy because if we ca...

TrainND boosts its well control training program | Oil And Energy

Copyright © var today = new Date() var year = today.getFullYear() document.write(year) • Wick Communications TrainND is gearing up to offer more Well Control classes than before. Not only that, the new training provider will be offering customized content for the Bakken. TrainND is gearing up to offer more Well Control classes than before. Not only that, the new training provider will be offering customized content for the Bakken. TrainND is gearing up to offer more Well Control classes than before. Not only that, the new training provider will be offering customized content for the Bakken. TrainND has just announced an exclusive partnership with Vorenkamp Well Control Training, an industry leader with more than 100 years combined experience providing well intervention training to oil and gas workers. Kenley Nebeker is regional director of Technical Programs and Training at TrainND Northwest. He said TrainND began talking to Vorenkamp as it was seeking a way to offer its well control training more often. “I want to be clear the training we provided before was of very high quality,” Nebeker told the Williston Herald. “We had a 100 percent pass rate with the IADC test. So it was d...

[Afonso]’s 77-year-old grandmother lives in a pretty remote location, with only AM/FM radio reception and an occasionally failing

[Afonso]’s 77-year-old grandmother lives in a pretty remote location, with only AM/FM radio reception and an occasionally failing landline connecting her to the rest of the world. The nearest 3G cell tower is seven kilometers away and unreachable with a cell phone. But [Afonso] was determined to get her up and running with video chats to distant relatives. The solution to hook granny into the global hive mind? Build a custom antenna to reach the tower and bridge it over to local WiFi using a Raspberry Pi. The first step in the plan was to make sure that the 3G long-shot worked, so [Afonso] prototyped a fancy antenna, linked above, and hacked on a connector to fit it to a Huawei CRC-9 radio modem. This got him a working data connection, and it sends a decent 4-6 Mbps, enough to warrant investing in some better gear later. Proof of concept, right? On the bridging front, he literally burned through a WR703N router before slapping a Raspberry Pi into a waterproof box with all of the various radios. The rest was a matter of configuration files, getting iptables to forward the 3G radio’s PPP payloads over to the WiFi, and so on. Of course, he wants to remotely administer the box for h...

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