Year-End Wrap-Up: Handbuilt’s 2021 Reading List

2021 was, in many ways, even weirder than 2020. Was the pandemic finally over? Or was it just another series

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“Detroit: Become Livonia” – Mike Duggan

Detroit’s mayor has a vision for the city. It involves a lot of parking lots, and a lot of low-wage jobs. But there’s a better way.

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Amazon, Lifeline or Scourge For Retail-Starved, Rural Communities?

Amazon is committed to a money-losing strategy to try and cop rural market share. But it’s not exactly a great deal for consumers, either. Looking at some examples from Maine and an example from California, we can learn a bit about the challenges facing retail in rural communities as well as how Amazon is (maybe) thinking about this issue.

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Summer Breeze: Heat Pumps, Mini-Splits, and the Magic of Thermodynamics

Mini-splits are the coolest new thing. Literally. Here is a guide to how to figure out how to navigate the sea of product options based on a simple calculation.

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Webinar: Tech To Reduce Guesswork for Safer Streets

Traffic technology has improved by leaps and bounds in recent decades. While the ultimate solutions to ending traffic violence must come with better street designs and a reduced reliance on single-occupant automobiles, there are some interesting developments in technology that are allowing better modeling to understand driver behavior, intersection safety, and more. We learned about it from a webinar co-hosted by Canadian tech company Miovision.

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AliExpress: The New Amazon? Or, Close, But No Cigar?

An exhaustive review of AliExpress, the Chinese Amazon and the “foreign office” of global giant AliBaba.

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Trying To Bump Up Those Margins? Have You Considered… Stealing?

Amazon has a long and sordid history of stealing the designs of companies that sell on its platform– and making their products themselves, to be sold at a lower price. One company decided to troll them in response.

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Platform Revolution: Understanding The New Economics of the Interweb

The platform economy dominates the economy today. This book offers numerous valuable lessons for how we can think about the architecture of systems in public infrastructure.

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Book Review – Ghost Road: Beyond the Driverless Car

Can autonomous cars save us? Well, no, but they can provide some vital innovation to our society. Provided we play our cards right, that is. Anthony Townsend’s book gives us the lowdown.

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Streaming, Torrents, and Market Fragmentation: Will p2p Filesharing, Unlike The South, Rise Again?

Digital piracy has made a comeback in recent years as the market for content streaming becomes more crowded and more expensive, leading to serious questions about the long-term sustainability of the sector.

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