Excellent initiative from The North Face to support a circular economy based on sustainability and re-usage.

North Face is cutting waste by selling refurbished old coats

‘If you buy a jacket from a just-launched pilot collection from The North Face, someone else might have already climbed a mountain or run a marathon in it. Called The North Face Renewed, the products are sourced from returns or defective items, cleaned and repaired to the quality of a new piece of clothing, and then sold online at a discount, as part of the company’s move toward a more circular business model.’

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Fitness v Privacy

After Strava’s scandal earlier this year on the public data of its users, a similar issue is plaguing Polar, another fitness tracking device provider.

The main conclusion:

““This example demonstrates how important it is to be aware of all the consequences digital technology can have,” said the Dutch minister of defense, Ank Bijleveld, in response to our investigation. “Technology keeps making more and more things possible, but the flip side of that ability is adjusting our security and awareness to match.”

It’s good news that the minister recognizes the severity of the problem. But this isn’t the first time she’s promised improvement. After the Strava incident last January, the Ministry of Defense alerted all its personnel.  Our investigation also examined Strava. Finding users’ names and addresses wasn’t as easy as it was in Polar – but find Strava’s users we did.  Including soldiers  and secret agents.”

De Correspondent’s Investigation

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Option Impact

One of the first media reports on Option Impact:

“Unlike popular self-reported salary sites like Glassdoor or Stack Overflow, Option Impact is reserved for elite users—VCs and the executives at the startups they back (plus legal and consulting firms). And while salary surveys are routine across industries, Option Impact is unique in its specificity and accuracy. Companies share their employees’ anonymized salaries in exchange for access to the vault, which is searchable by job title, location, company size, revenue, and funding stage. Executives are required to update their entries every six months, and Option Impact vets its data regularly.

It’s now the world’s largest salary data set for start­ups. Roughly 2,600 private, VC-backed companies use it; Radford, its largest competitor, counted 2,115 public and private companies in its latest technology survey. Likewise, the majority of top VC firms—Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital among them—have access to the database.”

More at Wired

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Modern Apothecary

Following Amazon’s purchase of PillPack, it feels like a good time to dust off a company profile by MIT’s Tech Review back in August 2017.

“Since Cohen and Parker founded ­PillPack, in 2013, the company has grown to more than 500 employees, delivering hundreds of thousands of prescriptions a month to tens of thousands of customers in 49 states (all but Hawaii). The company’s projected revenue for 2017 is more than $100 million. This summer, ­PillPack launched custom software that helps streamline the prescription filling process and gives its pharmacists a more holistic view of customers so they can offer more personalized service—all at the same cost as filling pill jars at CVS or Walgreens.

“The point is to empower our pharmacists, giving them what they need to connect with customers rather than spending all of their mental energy checking faxes and counting a lot of little white objects,” Cohen says.”

MIT’s PillPack Profile

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Creative use of drones: Australia scientist Catching Whale Snot

“This video of scientists using a UAV to collect viruses from spouting whales is just awesome.

The question: What kind of viruses live inside a whale’s lungs? That’s what a team of biologists in Sydney, Australia, wanted to know.

The problem: Whales aren’t easy to study up close in any capacity, let alone to get a snot sample from.

The solution: Last winter, researchers boarded a vessel and trailed eastern Australian humpback whales during their migration northward from Antarctica. To sample some “whale breath,” they used a drone equipped with a petri dish that could open and close. All it had to do was swoop through the plume emanating from the whales’ blow holes when they surfaced.

What they found: The team got an inventory of whale viruses, including at least a couple that were new to science. The researchers speculate that whales could transmit viruses when they spout, or pick them up from sea birds.”